THE PRINCESS DIARIES 2: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT -- the sequel to, well I suspect you
can figure that out -- is a definite disappointment. While the first one was a
surprising little charmer, full of sweet humor, the second, and hopefully last
film in the series, is full of jokes that are completely DOA. Who greenlit
this lame script? And why? Surely someone could have come up with something
with more genuine imagination and sparkle.
The plot this time has Princess Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway), reaching her
twenty-first birthday, which makes it her time to take over the throne of
Genovia from Queen Clarisse Renaldi (Julie Andrews). Having just graduated
from college, Mia is understandably nervous. As she explains to us in
voice-over, "There was no course in 'Queen' or 'How to Run a Country 101.'"
But, not so fast girl, the nefarious Viscount Mabrey (John Rhys-Davies) is busy
scheming a way to get his nephew, Nicholas (Chris Pine), to ascend to the
throne. A chauvinist, Mabrey invokes an old law which requires the queen to be
married, causing Parliament to give Mia just thirty days to be wed or else
forfeit her claim to rule their land.
Since England's dashingly handsome Prince William is unavailable, Mia
reluctantly sets her sights on Andrew (Callum Blue), an English duke. They
have a polite and respectable courtship without a hint of a spark between them.
Nicholas, who is supposed to be a bad guy, turns out to be a sweetheart who
doesn't really have it in his heart to stop Mia.
The moments in the film when the humor works can be counted on one hand. There
are a pair of silly Ladies-in-Waiting who are funny when they won't stop
curtsying. There might have been a few other funny moments, but I sure don't
remember them. Mia's arrows, which always go astray, and her big closet with
remote control drawers are typical of the story's lackluster attempts at
comedy. Our audience could only manage a few random small laughs, but who
could blame them? There just isn't much in this film, which is long on title
and short on laughs.
THE PRINCESS DIARIES 2: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT runs a long 1:58. It is rated G and
would be acceptable for all ages.
My son Jeffrey, age 15, gave it ***, saying that it was "cool" although that he
liked the first one better and found this one too predictable. His favorite
part was the mattress surfing scene. His friend Yasmin, also 15, gave it a
full ****, saying that it was an "awesome" film and a really "good
Copyright © 2004 Steve Rhodes