I don’t want to rule my own country, I just want to pass the tenth grade. -Mia
The Princess Diaries (2001)
Posted By Heather On 25 Feb 2009. Under 2.5 Stars (Noteworthy), 2001, Comedy, Family/Kids, Romance, Romantic Comedy Tags: Anne Hathaway, Caroline Goodall, Comedy, Family, Gary Marshall, Gina Wendkos, Heather Matazarro, Hector Elizondo, Julie Andrews, Mandy Moore, The Princess Diaries
Directed By: Gary Marshall
Written By: Gina Wendkos
Staring: Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway, Hector Elizondo, Heather Matazarro, Mandy Moore, and Caroline Goodall
A socially awkward but very bright 15-year-old girl being raised by a single mom discovers that she is a Princess.
Anne Hathaway is infectious. 90% of this film worked because of Hathaway, along with Julie Andrews who have a fantastic chemistry together. Anne Hathaway stepped into being an awkward teenager with her own desires and ideals about the world. When that world is flipped upside down, her transition is natural rather than typical. Her character exudes some of the weaknesses of the teen years, but also managed to maintain the persona she began the story with. For a fantastical story, the reactions are realistic.
There are moments when her clumsiness is taken a bit too far, or the attraction of disaster to her is a bit excessive, but in the teen years even the smallest of those moments seem huge, and to Mia (Hathaway’s character) everything probably felt that excessive to her, and since the story is told from her perspective, it’s plausible. The humor is light hearted and the sentiment of nerdy teen-ism isn’t exploited, it’s actually quite genuine, and to my own surprise my regular cynicism didn’t find the sweet, self discovering moments contrived, nor were the relationships that were built forced or corny. Even the idea that everyone is special and beautiful in their own way didn’t seem to bother me. Everything flowed together in a very natural way.
The Princess Diaries was surprisingly sweet and likable. It isn’t the annoying A-Z teen flick I expected, even though it had the elements in it that teenagers flock to the theatres to see. Anne Hathaway was a pleasure to endure in her clumsy, awkward, yet charming self. This is a great movie for young girls, and even an older crowd. I’m not certain it would appeal to a male audience, but it hit the nail on the head for it’s target crowd. Maybe that’s why there was a sequel? I suppose I’ll have to see that now. By all standards, not a bad movie at all.