Want to really relax and see an enchanting upbeat movie? Want to
see a movie that gives you the feeling you had when you were a small
child reading books about faraway kingdoms? Interested in true stories
that feel like fairy tales? How about a movie that you can take your
kids (say 8 or older) to see but are not kid's movies? Like good
acting? Like mysteries? Like Masterpiece Theater type flicks set in
rural England? Want to be spellbound? Well, you need to see PRINCESS
I avoided this movie many times figuring it was one of those
cutesy films with adults acting like idiots and set in some place like
Baghdad in the 1500s but with sorcerers and evil spirits. Wrong all
PRINCESS CARABOO is based on a true story from the early 1800s in
rural England. It seems a princess from a faraway land has escaped
capture on a ship in the Bristol channel. The princess (play perfectly
by Phoebe Cates) speaks no English. A local professor (well done by
John Lithgow) does the research on her language to determine her small
The princess comes to live in a large manor house where the butler
(played very funnily by Kevin Klein) does not believe her, but the
owners (Jim Broadbent and Wendy Hughes) do. A local reporter
(excellently done by Stephen Rea from THE CRYING GAME) finds her
absolutely fascinating and enchanting--as I am quite sure you will
too. The reporter is not sure if her story is true or false and he
sets out to determine the facts.
The mysterious princess has many adventures after the plot set up.
The mystery in the story does work even though it is a simple one.
Cates acting really carries the day. It is almost impossible not to
like her--a lot.
The script was written by the director, Michael Austin, and I
think you will find several surprises since I suspect most people do
not know obscure English history of over 150 years ago. The pacing was
good and the casting of all parts, even the most minor, was well done.
This is not GANDHI, but for what it is, I have no complains or
suggested improvements in the movie at all. A fun and delightful time
at the movies.
PRINCESS CARABOO runs 1:34 and is rated PG for a five-second 3/4
naked leg scene. There is no profanity. I have no idea how it avoided
getting a G other than you would need to be about 7 or 8 to like it I
think. I recommend it to every one except Ebenezer Scrooge. I think
young girls would especially like it, but I can attest to the fact that
males would like this show too. I give it ***.
Copyright © 1995 Steve Rhodes