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The Prince & Me

movie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: The Prince & Me

Starring: Julia Stiles, Luke Mably
Director: Martha Coolidge
Rated: PG
RunTime: 111 Minutes
Release Date: April 2004
Genres: Comedy, Romance

*Also starring: Ben Miller, James Fox, Miranda Richardson, Eliza Bennett, Alberta Watson, John Bourgeois, Joanne Baron, Eddie Irvine, Zachary Knighton

Review by Susan Granger
3 stars out of 4

Can a serious, single-minded All-American pre-med student find happiness with the spoiled yet dashing Crown Prince of Denmark? Or is "happily ever after" just a corny schoolgirl fantasy?

Combining "Roman Holiday" with "The Princess Diaries," director Martha Coolidge tackles these questions when Paige Morgan (Julia Stiles) meets hunky Edvard Valdemar (Luke Mably) at the University of Wisconsin. Paige grew up working on her family's organic dairy farm in rural Manitowoc, dreaming of being a doctor and helping people around the world; Edvard was raised as a drag-racing playboy in Copenhagen's palace. She knows exactly what she wants to do in life; he isn't quite sure, even though he is heir to the world's longest continuous monarchy.

Predictably, they fall in love, despite the sly observation by Edvard's dutiful valet, Soren (Ben Miller): "You two are of a completely different caliber." But when Edvard is summoned home by the Queen (Miranda Richardson) because of the illness of the King (James Fox), Paige discovers that the real life of royalty isn't a romp. It's filled with schedules, ritual and sacrifice.

It's fun to watch these interesting characters grow. But writers Jack Amiel, Michael Begler and Katherine Fugate set up a sweet, if formulaic, romantic comedy and then suddenly shift into drama, as if someone suddenly decided that fairy tales don't fly these days, only to detour back at the conclusion. Even Martha Coolidge's deft direction, combined with Julia Stiles' charm, cannot compensate for the clichés and abrupt change of tone - not to mention the curious lack of snow in either Wisconsin or Denmark. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "The Prince & Me" is a frothy, feel-good 7. It's best suited as an upbeat date movie or matinee-fodder for pre-teens.

Copyright © 2004 Susan Granger

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