The Princess Switch
2018-12-08, 6:57 a.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
Okay, I can't think of much to say about yesterday (I was tired, I traded a vest for earrings and we played Trader Joe's trivia at the CC party), so here instead is a review of one of the most infamous Netflix Christmas movies this season....the most princessy thing since The Christmas Prince...
The Princess Switch:
So Stacy is this baker in Chicago whose sous chef/bestie Kevin entered her in a fancy baking competition in Belgravia and without her input whatsoever*, and she has gotten in. ALL EXPENSES PAID for this trip. Also in it (though she’s barely in the movie) is Brianna, Stacy’s classmate from Cordon Bleu who was “really close to some of the faculty” and “like when you sauced Professor Kendall’s berries?” Brianna won this competition last year, but everyone but her seems have forgotten about this.
* note: this is how, by comparison, they do it on The Great British Baking Show.
We’re told that Prince Edward is engagaed to a “camera-shy” duchess, which makes me think “YEAH RIGHT, LIKE THAT CAN EVEN HAPPEN ANY MORE.” There is some nameless, presumably magical, old man who crops up periodically to advise the non-twins and says things like this. Anyway, the duchess, Lady Margaret Delacourt, Duchess of Montanaro, visits the cooking set, spots Stacy as her long lost identical twin by coincidence, and gets An Idea, and asks Stacy to consult with her about cake. Privately. In an hour. Don’t tell anyone!
Lady Margaret is (a) spontaneous, (b) barely knows her fiance and is engaged to him for political reasons, and (c) would love to try living the life of a regular person for a few days. Sure, let’s go for it, says Stacy. After all, Prince Edward is supposed to bug off to Spain for the next two days and Stacy has two free days to tourist instead of, I dunno, practicing her baking. Why not. They also vaguely assume they had some mutual relative named Cecil at some point, but we’re not gonna worry about that too hard.
The notable thing about this movie is that dear lord, this is some (deliberate, I think) bad acting. It feels like it’s trying to co-opt the charmingly bad “A Christmas Prince,” which this movie even cites at one point. The ladies are cheerfully fake in faking their respective accents and being around royalty/normal people. Kevin the sous chef’s daughter Liv, the requisite Cute Kid, figures this out pretty quickly. “It wasn’t rocket science.” The person in the know on the royal side is Lady Margaret’s diehard aide, Mrs. Donatelli. There is also some guy named Deluca (does he work for Prince Edward? I have no clue) who vaguely snoops around trying to figure this out.
Prince Edward decides to bail out on going to Spain in order to try to get to know his new fiancee, who as far as he knows is into horseback riding (awkward) and piano playing and things like that, which is awkward when he wants to ride horses or say, have her play piano at a ball for everyone. Prince Edward is nice enough, but boring and bland as hell. If anything makes this sort of movie, it’s the chemistry between the pairings and this guy is dull. At one point someone says “Tell me, has the prince always been so...ordinary?” Har. Their first kiss under mistletoe is the saddest thing ever. She’s too short to reach him and he barely stoops enough for her to reach a cheek.
Somehow Stacy has to tell a prince that he should be visiting shelters instead of just having charity balls and children at orphanages need to be given toys. Pretty sure the Brits and all the other royal families have figured this out without some random telling them to. Also, thanks to the British royal family, the audience is aware that you don’t get to become a princess after you marry a prince any more (feh). Stacy has to talk to cute children and says that you’re a princess in your heart if you care about other people.
As for Margaret, Stacy advises her on how to deal with her best friend since high school, Kevin (who she has no sexual chemistry with): “Kevin is like a puppy. If you’re nice to him, he follows you everywhere.” Geez. At least Kevin is fun and charming and has a shirtless scene, so that’s an improvement on the chemistry thing. At some point a reporter walks up to her wanting a story on her for owning a bake shop in Chicago. Somehow nobody is interested in interviewing Brianna, who WON last year. Really, show?
Both girls end up coincidentally in the same toy shop, in which Stacy is demanding that the prince play Twister Right Now. Stacy is wearing a short, tight skirt. No woman would play Twister in that. She nearly flashes cooter in this movie. Awkwardly, the two need to distract their companions once they spot each other, and the Old Magical Guy steps in. There is a second mistletoe kiss for the royals, which is better.
After two days, the girls are in love with the wrong guys (Liv: “Sounds like someone’s crushing big time on Prince Mothballs”), but dutifully switch back so we don’t have the bad comedy of Margaret losing the cooking competition. Deluca takes a photo of this and then falls off a balcony into the snow and yet somehow doesn’t die. When Deluca tries to tell (the queen, I think) he’s essentially told, “Do you want to get fired?”
For the record, I don’t see any evidence in this movie that the queen knew what was going on, but between the “do you want to get fired?” moment and her claiming the next day that she’s too under the weather and forces Edward and Margaret to go to the baking competition, uh...she might. So of course Stacy wins, the prince calls her his destiny and says they can move her shop here and proposes to her (we can get married in a year) without having broken it off with Margaret as far as I can tell, but Margaret is fine with that. Even Deluca is going “yes!” in the back. In a year, Margaret catches the bouquet.
Anyway...this is cornball, which of course you expected and it’s what you get. Not super awesome, but okay in a silly sort of way. I’ve seen better, I’ve seen worse. There you go.