Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

My classroom wall
The above full-size poster has been on the wall of the classroom that I've been teaching in for the past couple of years, so I figured it was high time I finally watched it.

Unlike whoever wrote the blurb on the back of the DVD:

”...this modern-day fairy tale picks up right where The Princess Diaries left off.”

Erm... that’d be five years later then.

It must be said that, right from the doubtful jet-setting cat in the CGI aeroplane at the start, this sequel has alot riding against it. Challenges include:

1. Mia has two love-interests, one of whom is a villain and the other of whom she doesn’t love. For most of the film it is impossible to root for either, especially since she’s cheating on one of them. (ironically, they were clever enough to try to cut this problem out of the first movie)

2. The previous film was set in our real world, however this one takes place in a fictitious country that has had to be made up from scratch. It was always going to be tough to make this place feel ‘real.’

3. The middle of the film is just a collection of isolated scenes that don’t seem to have much order, or really move the plot along. Once Mia’s decided to marry Andrew Jacoby, (Callum Blue) there’s nothing for her to accomplish except wait around for her approaching wedding day. Her collection of friends seem to appear and disappear at random. At one point her fiancée flies back home to the UK, but is then present with the others again without any explanation.

So what happened here? Did they start work on one sequel, abandon it, and then start work on a different one, before running out of money and trying to splice both lots of footage into one?

However, this film also has some absolutely lovely moments, including:

1. Mia’s meeting the orphans for the first time, and making them all princes and princesses for a day.

2. The scene when Mia and Andrew admit they don’t like each other. It’s probably the nicest break-up I’ve ever seen. When they hug afterwards there is a real sense of genuine friendship there.

3. Julie Andrews, when she hears the sound of music, gets to sing a song in the middle! It’s diegetic and everything!

Stan Lee and Julie Andrews team-up!
4. Stan “The Man™” Lee! Well that settles it - this film's brilliant.

As with the first movie, this one does drag in places, but still leaves one with a lovely Disney feeling afterwards. I’d really be up for a third.

And the villain’s all-revealing second line in this one?

“You should be more careful, your royal highness, somebody might try to take that [crown] away from you. [to himself] Someone like me.”


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