Chaos Attraction

A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding

2018-12-15, 7:05 a.m.

Here’s my final new Netflix movie review for the season, for A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding. Previous movie review here.

Who’s counting how many days it’s been since the last movie? I AM, I AM! says Amber on her blog. There’s been a lot of plane flights, strolls on the streets and parks (in public? where?) and of course, the inevitable selfie. Amber promises to blog about all of her adventures to come. I don’t think you can keep that promise, sweetie.

Amber and her dad Rudy fly in, and her dad suggests she change the name of the country. Uh-huh. When a bunch of reporters show up, she starts making a statement. She’s given a personal attache since she’s now a member of the royal family.

We meet Mr. Zavala and Mrs. Averill, the latter is “press and protocol” and obviously a thorn in Amber’s side for that. She also won’t allow Rudy to call Princess Emily “kiddo.” Rudy is super friendly and literally picks up Queen Helena when hugging her. The queen tries to suck it up. Mrs. Averill tries to get rid of him. Rudy and Emily hit it off just as well as she and Amber did.

Amber gets her own bridal suite and Richard has written her a poem! “To my love with all my heart / From this day forth we shall not be apart / Poetry can be a challenging art / If not yet mastered, here’s a start.” Also he seems to think four lines is a limerick. Amber says to his face, “Your poetry, not so amazing.” Richard does not mind this, fortunately.

We meet Sahil, the wedding planning. He looks like Hasan Minhaj but shinier. He’s done six weddings for the same woman and talks about himself in the third person and stole a cab from Rudy at the airport.

Emily clearly wants to stir some shit by having Rudy, the cook of Rudy’s Diner, talk to Chef Ivana about her meat jelly.

Shocking, Mrs. Averill doesn’t want Amber to blog. “Nothing shines quite like the truth, right?” Amber says. Oh, sweetie.

The main plots of this movie are (a) the wedding, and (b) Aldovia’s economy suddenly being financially fucked due to Richard’s “New Aldovia” modernization efforts. Suddenly the economy is down the toilet and nobody can tell Richard why. Shouldn't there be advisers for that? Amber offers to help and Richard says that wedding planning is probably going to keep her occupied. I am not super thinking well of Richard for being kinda patronizing like that, and also, have you met your fiance, the former reporter?

Sahil does a dramatic, animal-filled presentation for his wedding plans. He also has a sad way of drawing the wedding dress that is about two steps up from stick figures. Everyone else politely claps. Amber wants something a bit more simple, and also seems to think the gown is a bit much. But it’s based on Queen Helena’s dress! Queen Helena asked for this! Amber wants something a bit more contemporary and gets lectured on 700 years of Aldovian history. Amber is all, “I didn’t realize that becoming part of the royal family meant having to give up what I am.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

Amber’s friends Andy and Melissa have no sympathy, since they only have a crap job (Andy) or no job and are living with their parents (Melissa).

Richard gives a speech on the New Aldovian initiative and gets the Aldovian equivalent of 'Dey took er jerbs!" yelled at him. Simon, the villain cousin who tried to steal Richard’s throne in the last movie (I confess I did not remember who he was) shows up and sulks in the crowd. Amber offers again to help, pointing out that the number don’t add up and “I used to balance Dad’s books at the diner,” and Richard continues to try to politely decline.

Rudy meets Chef Ivana, the castle chef. He introduces himself as a diner chef. “Excuse my posing. I’m in shock,” she replies. He wants to help. “You start with dishes.” I’d think this was a budding romance except they have no sexual chemistry whatsoever.

Anyone remember this Lord Leopold guy who retired and is coming back to help out in this crisis? Well, Queen Helena went behind Richard’s back to ask him to come back and advise them. This seems a little royally dicey.

Emily thinks a royal Christmas tree will solve all the problems. Richard is happy to foist that on Amber, at least.

Simon walks in on the royals hanging out in the living room and everyone glares at him. Rudy asks for those of us who forgot from the last movie why everyone hates this guy. Sofia has divorced Simon and taken him to the cleaners over the last year and Emily says “just desserts” to that. Simon apologizes and tries to make amends and Richard is willing to go along with that.

Amber does not enjoy the shoes (“you don’t have to walk, you have to glide”) or the dress or the veil that is blocking her ability to “take a look.” “Tell Sahil you adore it.” “I can’t SEE,” she says. But this was Queen Helena’s only request for the wedding! Amber commiserates with her dad, who gives her a locket with her mom’s picture in it.

Emily and Amber hang out and talk about the Christmas play Emily is in. Emily offers to send a mouse into Sahil’s vicinity and Amber is all “don’t tempt me.” So what’s the Christmas play about? It’s the most famous Aldovian story about how Princess Froon got captured by an ogre (“not like Shrek”) and put into an ice palace (“not like Frozen”). The ogre’s turtle (!?) finds a baby in the woods that the princess takes care of, which causes the ogre to fall in love with her and set her free. She turns the baby into Santa Claus and gives him magical powers, and also she kisses the ogre and turns him into a knight. The ogre/knight in the play is a boy named Tom Quill that Emily likes.

Is it a good idea to take Amber riding? “No wolves, I promise,” but watch out for Yetis. Richard and Amber’s tree shopping plans are ruined by the unions going on strike, and Emily’s play is canceled when the theater union staff leave. Alas, no Christmas miracle happens to get the unions to cooperate within 24 hours to save the play.

Leopold arrives, and Simon tries to offer a suggestion of crypto-currency. Leopold advises that even though the country’s economy is in the toilet and they have no idea why, they should stay the course. Does this sound fishy to you? Like many royal movies, it takes a commoner to be all, hey, is anybody doing any kind of financial audit of any of this?!?

Richard and Amber finally get to go on a sleigh ride and pick out a tree, but are not allowed to decorate it, Amber bitches that they’d rather treat her as an ornament.

Oh look, Simon’s lurking about.

Emily is distracted while Mr. Zavala and whoever else set up a private show of the play at the palace for Emily and Tom to be in. Now in all honesty, I can’t judge because if I ever went on strike I think I’d so get fired, but shouldn’t that cause some kind of controversy about the palace bypassing using theater workers to put on a show? Especially if Amber later mentions it on the Internet? This show manages to miss that particular drama, though.

Tom’s ogre costume is literally torn off him on stage by other kids to reveal a knight outfit while he and Emily kiss on state. That is ... quite something, y’all.

After the show is over, Rudy throws a Christmas cookie contest in the kitchen. Richard even tries to decorate a cookie, but his artistic skills are about as good with a cookie as they are with poetry. “Is that a snowman or Yeti?” Ivana gets choked up and runs out of the kitchen. Amber blogs about the whole evening.

The next day Amber’s friends are flying in and say they liked her blog, but where did all her stuff go on it, because it’s just been taken down. Wait, what? Sahil is mad that Amber is late and he’s told to keep her under control. Wait, what? Then Amber storms in and is all “Did you censor my blog?!”

I must refer you to this screenshot I took of this special moment. Mrs. Averill bitches about how “is this the sort of image the royal family should portray?” The caption is “Christmas Spirit Has Overtaken The Palace” and shows Emily smiling while someone waves a napkin. Uh, yes, actually, that IS. People loved it, Amber says. Times change. But “protocol does not” and “Your image belongs to us now. It’s just the way that it is.” Amber tries to get her fiance the king on her side for this during their excruciating royal portrait session, but for a king, dude sure does go along with whatever the fuck anyone else but Amber tells him. They work for us, but we need to play by the rules, he says. Once she’s officially queen, “we’ll be at a better place to pick our battles” and “keep calm and carry on for now.” Richard is no help. Richard needs some royal spine. Richard needs to realize that he can put his royal hoof down once in a great while.

Ivana was only crying out of nostalgia, she’s fine. Meanwhile at the royal portrait session, Richard is repeatedly told to “give us some boom!” Uh, what?

Amber then makes the crack about “I would be exuding something else if this dress were any tighter.” Damn, is that a royal poop joke?

Sahil doesn’t like her locket and insists on blinging up Amber, and Mrs. Averill is all “Do you REALLY want to insult the crown, Ms. Moore?” They look completely miserable in this photo.

Family time! Everyone sits around while Queen Helena reads the Christmas cards. Someone has sent a very depressing one saying that he lost his job thanks to the New Aldovia initiative, which brings down the festivities a bit.

Emily is practicing her archery and it makes Amber realize that she needs to accidentally nearly shooting her arriving friends and taking the head off a statue. “Well, that was a real royal welcome!” Andy says. Emily of course responds by “Abide, and you will avoid the dungeon.” Amber has to point out that there is no dungeon.

Amber would rather investigate the kingdom’s finances than have a bachelorette party. Seriously. Simon lurks and smirks. Amber filches the sad Christmas card, gets the guy’s name (Ernest Mason), calls his wife and finds out that Ernest is always hanging out in this pub, which they go to. Amber interviews Ernest, who says that “New Aldovia” is a fraud, and why isn’t all this money staying in Aldovia? He mentions something called “Meadowlark,” which sounds fishy. Amber’s notes in their entirety say “Meadowlark” and “Fishy.” And then the press come for her. Simon shows up and rescues them all in his much less nice car (“don’t ask”), and then they all get to a computer and can’t find much about Meadowlark.

They start looking for other companies and then Emily overhears all of this and offers to be their personal hacker. Because of course the tween actress princess archer also hacks. I love this kid. I have no idea if any of this hacking dialogue is legit or not. I bet it’s nonsense. While Emily is up all night hacking, the three friends throw the bachelorette party, which I guess involves getting Andy’s toenails painted.

The next morning, Mrs. Averill drags Amber and Richard into her office to yell at Amber for the “queen-to-be goes bar hopping” headline. Richard notes that Simon was there and Amber says she was investigating. Mrs. Averill gripes that Amber doesn’t understand her role in the royal family. Amber gets that her role is to smile and nod (and incubate, but that’s not mentioned), but she doesn’t agree. How is this lady allowed to tell royalty what to do? When Amber asks Richard to put his royal hoof down, Richard chokes. “Really, Richard?” Amber stomps out.

While Emily is finishing up her hacking and Simon is insulting her and trying to help by suggesting easy passwords, the castle realizes that Amber is missing, and Leopold mentions that he has to leave RIGHT after the wedding. I have no idea how Emily manage to get in. Christmas magic? Anyway, they figure out that the “Glockenspiel Consortium” is behind all of this.

Emily tells Richard what’s what--that he’s being manipulated and is too good to notice. Richard is focusing on the Amber drama during this conversation and not really getting the point, but now “thanks to Amber” we know where the missing money is going. I’d say “thanks to Emily to some degree for that last bit.” Richard hops on a horse and rides off to find Amber at some cottage and she rips him a new one about how she’s losing control and isn’t used to this. Richard doesn’t want her to sacrifice herself.

Richard and Amber stomp on back to the royals and make some demands. First, the wedding: Amber wants to change the gown and she wants her dad to make the wedding meal. Helena realizes that she probably shouldn’t have been all demanding over the dress and apologizes. But when Leopold tries to horn in, Richard takes over and starts telling him off for siphoning off the money and lying to their faces. “I have an army of lawyers!” Leopold retorts.

THEN AMBER PULLS A BOW AND ARROW ON HIM THAT SHE RANDOMLY FINDS IN THE ROOM. “She’s deadly with that thing,” says Emily. “You’ll never prove anything!”, says Leopold even though he’s so obviously busted. “Then why do I hear the dulcet tones of a glockenspiel?” “Yes, yes, it’s not that clever.” Leopold snaps.

Queen Helena is all, “Take Lord Leopold to the dungeon.” “There’s actually a dungeon?” Oh yes. Emily is all “Cooooool!”

Richard dramatically rips up the speech he was going to give on camera and announces what really went on, and says that everyone will get a Christmas bonus to boot! Ernest is happy. Rudy is made an earl of Aldovia. They light the tree and everyone sings.

At the wedding, Simon says he wants a seat on the advisory council. “Don’t push your luck.” First Helena walks in alone, in black, at a wedding. What the heck’s that about? The mother-in-law wearing black at a wedding when she seems to be fine with the bride is just not done--black weddings are for evil mothers-in-law. Emily, Andy, and Melissa roll in together as a pack while Emily flower girls. Amber’s new dress is much more Kate Middleton, except for the bling sneakers. This is a super simple royal wedding.

Actual dialogue in the movie: “Do you, King Richard, take the beautiful Amber Eve Moore to be your bride?” Richard isn’t called beautiful during his end of the vows. But this movie is all about crowning Queen Amber in a huge crown.

Who the hell designed these cartoon cake toppers? Sahil, apparently. “The only one wearing Sahil is the cake topper.”

Rudy serves up “hockey puck sliders, painted red” to Queen Helena. Simon and Melissa flirt. Helena catches the bouquet. Andy appears to be making a move on Sahil. The royal couple dances to the Nutcracker for their first dance before Emily and Melissa break out a DJ area. Rudy yells “CONGA!!!!” and the king and queen sneak out to make out outside until the conga line finds them.

Quote Corner:
“You must be as exhausted by your journey as we are by your arrival.” -Mrs. Averill to Rudy.
“You make a brilliant ogre, Tom.” “Thanks?” -Emily and Tom
“The decor is white and gold. No inflatables.” -Mrs. Averill on the traditional Aldovian decorating scheme.
“Your father is a true menace” -Emily on Rudy, but she means it in a complimentary way.
“You are not a normal chef.” -Chef Ivana to Chef Rudy.
“I never get to meet dignitaries at the Noodle Chalet.” --Andy to the Prime Minister of Aldovia.

Special Simon and Emily Insult Corner:
“I take offense to YOU.” -Emily to Simon
“Nothing could be finer than Christmas in a diner.” -Drunk Simon.
“Would you like some coffee with that whiskey, Simon?” -Emily.
“All hail Princess Peanut.” -Simon.
“All hail the village idiot.” -Emily
“Not exactly Mr. Robot, are you? More like Mr. Slowbot.” -Simon
“You have a disturbing knowledge of underhanded activities.” -Emily

Anyway, this was lulzy good fun overall. A super simple embezzling plot, a converted enemy, Emily continues to be awesome, Rudy cavorts through the movie, Amber pulling out a random bow and arrow to threaten the bad guy in the middle of the palace.... My amusement continued, y’all, and that’s what’s really important. Richard continues to be rather sad and boring, but...whatever, I guess. If he grows a spine he’ll be fine enough.

Link roundup!

Millions of People Are Watching Netflix's Shit Christmas Movies. I Am One of Them. This reviews the four movies with a standard of reindeer turds.

Stream It: A CHRISTMAS PRINCE: THE ROYAL WEDDING: ”Princess Emily is the only voice of reason in this entire movie. She cuts through the bullshit, but does anyone listen to her? No. When Cousin Simon wants to come back into the fold, she is like, WHY give this Loki-wannabe usurper a chance? She’s also a princess AND a computer hacker, and basically saves her country from bankruptcy.”

Royal Wedding is straight trash. But it’s cozy trash. No one who made the sequel to A Christmas Prince cared, and that’s the secret to its appeal. ”The people who made this sequel cared so little about it that the movie contains a scene in which one character’s entire outfit changes between cuts — like, drastically changes, from blue and pink to brown and mustard — and no one ever bothers to offer an excuse. That’s the spirit with which we are entering into this movie, and you have to accept that up front. The ideal Hallmark Christmas movie — which is absolutely what Netflix’s Christmas Prince franchise is emulating — is so dumb that it makes you feel smart because you can mock it while you’re half-paying attention and also a little bit drunk.”

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