Movie Review: Princess
Channel: ABC Family
Starring: A bunch of people I never heard of, and Eden from Heroes. OK, Kip Pardue and Nora Zehetner
Brief Plot Summary: Princess Ithaca is an eccentric princess who lives on the outskirts of some city or another in America and never leaves her castle. That bugs me. Anyways, she is holding a charity benefit ball, and William, a shiftless Princeton grad whose life has gone nowhere since graduation, attends the ball with his friend, a successful internet businessman who was his classmate at Princeton. He immediately is taken by the princess. So when she auctions off a date and a dance, he outbids everybody with $50,000. During the dance, William says something that catches her, and she is convinced that he is "the searcher". Prodded on by his friend, William plays along with this in order to date the hot princess. But she's really worried, as he only has one week to find whatever it is he's supposed to be looking for. He blows it off and basically takes advantage of her. Eventually, he becomes convinced that there's more to this eccentric princess than meets the eye, and maybe there's something to this "searcher" business after all.
Spoilers, Since Nobody Will Watch This Movie: It turns out Ithaca is "the healer", an important role featured by one person in a generation. Basically her job is to heal mythical creatures that become injured (mermaids, manticore, etc.). Also, at one point a squid, which is not a mythical creature. The problem is she loses her powers when she turns 25, and she needs "the searcher" to help her find the new "healer" and bring her to the castle by sunup on her 25th birthday. But Will, and the audience, don't know this for a while. What happens is Will sees a manticore in her castle. Once Will sees the mythical creatures in her castle he justifiably freaks out and breaks up with her. She explains the above to him in extremely clunky exposition, but he doesn't care. However, eventually he realizes that he is "the searcher" after all and helps Ithaca find the new healer and they end up together and happily ever after.
But wait: Ithaca is an American who lives in America and never leaves her castle. She is definitely not a monarch of any nation. She is a mythical healer. SHE IS NOT A PRINCESS. Yet she is referred to as a princess throughout the movie, she dresses like a princess (in really fancy and expensive clothing that there's no way she could afford since she doesn't have an income producing job), and the movie is called princess. That angers me.
Commentary: Princess is an obvious attempt to cash in on the Enchanted phenomenon, in terms of the way it is presented and marketed, but it is not really all that similar to Enchanted. True, it's about a love story between a mysterious "princess" and a commoner, and it has a complicated mythology, but beyond that there's not much to it.
Here's the thing. I didn't plan on watching this movie, but I tuned in to the first 15 minutes, and the developments therein intrigued me enough to make me want to watch the rest of the movie. I mean, what's "the searcher"? What's the deal with the Princess? Then, for the next hour nothing happens. There's a little bit of development in their relationship but all in all, this is basically a love at first sight thing. So these are two people in young love hanging out with each other and not saying or doing anything interesting. Then, the entire plot of the movie plays out over the last half hour, and a lot of it plays out in a single clunky conversation between Ithaca and Will. It's pretty absurd. The mythology of this movie seems complicated typed out, but there really isn't much to it, and I have to think that they could have pulled this off better.
Then, there's the love story, which is really the point of the movie to start with. The romance is very cute, and the characters are believably in love. I can't point to any specific bad dialogue or anything either. But I found this romance extremely boring. It's kind of a weird experience for me to watch a cute romance play out, while I sit there non heartwarmed and non choked up, even during the big reconciliation. It's good to know that I actually have a filter for this sort of thing; I was really starting to wonder for a while.
What bugs me is that the plot and the idea of this movie are pretty interesting. I'm almost positive that a good movie could be made out of this, if the plot and the romance had been paced better. You wouldn't even need to change the actors! The actress who played Ithaca was cute and did OK for the most part, and the actor who played William was competent. The actors who played William's friends were awful though, they would have to be changed. The point is, there's more than a kernel of a good movie in here.
Final Grade/Comments: I promised myself I would never watch another ABC Family original movie, as I've hated all the ones I've seen. The last one I let myself get hyped up over was Hello Sister, Goodbye Life, which I wrote a review of very early in this blog's life, and it was very disappointing (the movie, not the review). But the way this movie was being marketed in an Enchanted like film had me intrigued. A second rate Enchanted would still be a really good movie. And it could have been one, but this was a real blown opportunity. I can't recommend that anybody watch this movie. Basically, this was a cute movie that I didn't like, and that's saying something. Hmm, let's see, what did I give Hello Sister Goodbye Life? 4/10. That sounds about right for this.
Labels: Movie Review