Directed By: Gary Marshall
Written By: Gina Wendkos
Staring: Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews, Hector Elizando, John Rhys-Davies, Heather Matarazzo, and Chris Pine
The feat you ask, dear sir, isn’t easy. And I won’t respond to that line, it’s far too cheesy. -Princess Mia
Not only was the quote above cheesy, but so was this sequel to The Princess Diaries. Everything that made the original so fresh and new, a different perspective of a tale we all have heard the same way again and again, the sequel becomes the tale that the first one rose above. It wasn’t an awful movie, but it became mundane and predictable, and the same jokes we’ve heard twenty times and frankly, I just lost interest. Surprisingly enjoyed the first, and wrongly expected the same from this addition.
Apparently Genovia is a country full of scheming power hungry aristocratic elitists willing to forgo the laws, morality, and compromise integrity to give a piece of the Royal pie. In the first film they were shunning by Mia’s agreement to become princess, and now with her twenty first birthday approaching, she will become queen, if, and only if she is betrothed, otherwise the thrown will go to some other royal family and their handsome son, who is aiding his uncle in plans to thwart Mia finding a suitable husband for herself. She finds one, but finds herself attracted to the handsome man trying to steal her thrown.
At first it was fun watching Princess Mia in her “Kingdom” and her adjust to all the royal “stuff”. When the twist that she has to get married is filled it, it doesn’t seem so bad. In the first movie they made typical plot points fresh and new, but when they tried to add another ploy for the crown it appeared to be getting repetitive without the additional sweetness and freshness that made the original so enchanting. There were moments that were fun, like the royal slumber bridal party. It was cute and fun, and who can argue with Julie Andrews singing in anything? It was the highlight of the entire movie.
The romances and the obstacles that Mia had to overcome has just been done so many times it was truly difficult to watch when it wasn’t doing anything new. The theme had the light hearted feel the first did, it just never managed to capture the magic or offer anything new. The romance in the first film was so much more genuine than Royal Engagement. It was a connect the dots kind of feel, that didn’t have a heart.
I felt like this sequel was a financial conquest to capitalize on the first. Even with the amazing Julie Andrews and infectious Anne Hathaway, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement didn’t have enough going for it to sustain my interest, let alone really enjoy it. It may have had the same character’s that were in the first film, but they didn’t do anything new, grow at all, offer something compelling and worthy of a sequel. Royal Engagement was a loss for me.