THE PRINCE & ME is a fairytale about a real Prince Charming from one of the
birth places of fairytales, Hans Christian Anderson's Denmark. The movie
itself is a real charmer in more ways that you can count. It takes what seems
at first glance to be a sweet but unrealistic concept for a romantic comedy and
makes the at-first unbelievable become perfectly plausible. But, even if you
don't buy any of it for a minute, the wonderful chemistry between the two
leads, Julia Stiles and Luke Mably, is a joy to behold. You'll quickly be
rooting for and sympathizing with these two young lovers.
When we meet this modern day prince of Denmark -- whose Shakespearean favorites
tend more to Romeo and Juliet than Hamlet -- he is busying getting his mug
plastered all over the tabloids. As Prince Edvard Valdemar Dangaard, Mably
gives an endearing performance as a spoiled but likeable and insanely
good-looking prince. Convincingly regal, James Fox and Miranda Richardson play
his mom and dad, more properly known as King Haraald and Queen Rosalind. The
movie's second best relationship is that between the prince and his smile-free,
hard-working manservant, Soren (Ben Miller, who looks like a young Tim Roth).
Across the Atlantic, Paige Morgan (Stiles) is a single-minded pre-med student
who wants to save the third world if she can just get the grades to make it
into Johns Hopkins. The movie is filled with smartly written lines, and the
first of these is delivered flawlessly by Stiles when the hard-driven Paige
returns to her dorm room for the beginning of the school year. "This year,"
she tells her roommate, "we do the dishes every three weeks whether we need to
or not." And then adds, "And by 'we,' I mean 'you.'"
The prince, who has become bored with the girls back home, is intrigued by a
television ad about "The Girls of Wisconsin," who supposedly get drunk every
night on campus and take off their tops. Prince Edvard decides to go
incognito, as just "Eddie," to American's heartland to be an exchange student
for a year at Paige's college. When Eddie and Paige first meet, it is anything
but love at first sight. She is deliciously sarcastic to him, especially after
his slightly inebriated first pickup line of "So will you take off your top for
me?" She puts him down in no uncertain terms. Their romance only blossoms
quite reluctantly after a couple of classes, organic chemistry and Shakespeare,
force them to draw on each other's talents.
The hilarious script is amazing in the amount of good-spirited humor it can
derive from such an innocent romance. An intelligent movie, it is a properly
rated PG picture that is a hundred times more innocent than we've come to
expect from college comedies. Both of these kids are the types that you'd want
your kids to marry. Parents couldn't hope for children who grow up to be
better than these two. And kids, including teenagers, watching the movie will
be surprised how much it speaks to and delights them. Even formula films can
be special, as this film warmly proves.
THE PRINCE & ME runs 1:50. It is rated PG for "some sex-related material and
language" and would be acceptable for all ages.
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes