Chaos Attraction

A Christmas Prince

2017-12-26, 8:20 a.m.

I don't have much to say about Christmas. I slept through half the morning, watched Hallmark all day, unwrapped gifts. I knew what 95% of my gifts were, but hey, at least I know that means I liked them. We eventually went out to dinner at a place Mom picked out that was not very good. What I'd deem "edible" despite it being what I guess is some kind of big deal joint. (Also kinda made me sick later. Whee.) Then we drove around looking at more lights, having now covered all the lights in the next town over. So yeah...NBD. Whatever, I give up. It was pleasant enough.

Thoughts I have had in general about Hallmark movies:

The best ones tend to have at least one charismatic/interesting performer in them, and/or show the hero and heroine hanging out and having fun together.

The worst ones tend to feature a lead or both leads who are duller than shit, and/or focus on people's corporate jobs. Dear god, I have zero interest in mergers, advertising, takeovers, whatever is going on in the boring boring office.

With that in mind: I haven't done any Hallmark reviews lately because I've got the entire year of 2017 to catch up on writing still (only November left to go!) on the dull days, but since I feel a bit bust for the Christmas Day entry, I have watched the now-infamous "A Christmas Prince" movie and will now discuss it for your consumption. Seriously, if my boss and my friend are bringing the infamous Netflix stalker quote up to me, I should go watch it, right?

Honestly, I'm not sure what the big deal is that everyone is flipping out over, other than the Acorn Adoption Twist. Seriously, this is just like all the other Hallmark Royalty movies except for the AAT. It is especially like the plot of Crown for Christmas," in which Danica McKellar gets a similar job working for royalty and she gets to hang out with the young royal princess basically baking cookies and having fun instead of doing any work (something this movie cheerfully cops to since Amber ain't no math tutor). Or, I've read, Princess Diaries 2, but I never watched that one so I can't say. I honestly think the only reason this movie has suddenly become Noticed is that it is a Hallmark movie that just happens to be on Netflix (by itself, more or less) as opposed to the 20 or 30+ Hallmark movies that rolled out this season.

For those of you who have not heard the general plot, Amber Moore (played by Rose McIver of iZombie fame, who normally plays a character named Liv Moore in whiter makeup---this might be an advantage to her in that the role she's most famous for disguises her normal everyday look) is a copy editor in NYC who somehow gets roped into going to Aldovia to cover their royal constitutional crisis. King Richard I died a year ago, and they've been in some kind of interregnum limbo while Prince Richard dithers about whether or not he's going to officially take the throne. He pulls a flake-n-bail on the press conference that Amber goes to, but Amber gets mistaken for Princess Emily's new tutor that's supposed to show up in two weeks and she rolls with it.

EXACTLY LIKE in Crown for Christmas, Princess Emily comes off as a brat for about 15 seconds before turning out to be a nice, normal kid. Except for being a princess who can't inherit the throne and being born with spina bifida (if you check the comments here, apparently this is implausible). If anyone's having romantic bonding in this movie, it's Amber and Emily. Emily pretty much falls in love with Amber at first sight for treating Emily as a normal person and taking her sledding and shooting arrows and making cookies instead of tutoring. Also, a half hour into the movie Emily has figured out who Amber is but agrees to keep the secret if Amber agrees to write the truth about her brother, who isn't the bimbo playboy the tabloids make him out to be. His ideas of fun involve archery and having snowball fights with orphans.

Sure 'nuff, Richard seems nice enough, and lord knows he and Amber have enough Vibey Moments in which they almost kiss, and he rescues her from a wolf, which is way too reminiscent of Kim and the cougar in 24. But do we ever figure out why he was reluctant to take the throne? I think I missed this detail.

However, it turns out there's a good reason for someone to be hesitant about this: Amber finds Richard's adoption papers. Unlike Henry VIII, Richard didn't divorce his wife for being infertile, they just somehow had a secret adoption no one found out about. If you buy this one, lemme sell ya a timeshare. While Amber doesn't blab about this, we already have a rival cousin named Simon who's next in line to the throne, and a "Lady Sofia" ex of Richard's who makes it clear that she just wants to be queen and will marry whoever that is, so when Richard won't get back together with her she marries Simon.

During the investiture ceremony, which seriously has a "If anyone objects to this, speak now or forever hold your peace" moment to it like a wedding, S&S blab the whole thing and Amber's part in it, forcing Amber to go home, have her story refused by her editor for being too sappy, and Amber quitting and starting her own blog ("Amber's Blog") to tell her version instead.

Oh, wait, except for the part where Amber, having read some poem of the king's that Richard showed her, realizes that the giant acorn ornament that turned up after the king's death is hiding something. Namely, some kind of legal document permitting an adopted child to take the throne anyway. Yup, even Hallmark would think this sounds kinda bunky. This is pretty much the most ridiculous thing right there, but suffice it to say Richard II gets to be king and Simon's wife already wants a divorce before the honeymoon starts.

Amber goes home to her dad's diner, Richard shows up and proposes, and nobody worries about the kind of stuff Harry and Meghan or Will and Kate have had to deal with whatsoever, as movie royals do. The end.

I dunno, it's entertaining enough in it's very silly way. Rose McIver is a compelling enough actress to generally carry this movie through, so that helps. But I wouldn't be losing my shit over it like others have. However, it looks like Rose McIver's iZombie costar tweeted about it. So that was probably something special right there.

Quote Corner:
* Amber and another media guy: "Any words of wisdom?" "Pick a new career."
* Amber's assessment of the prince: "Derelict Santa Claus"
* "Who are you and what are you doing in my palace?" Only Emily asks this.
* Note that the small child in a wheelchair has perfect aim but Amber shoots an arrow into the arse of a centaur painting on the second floor.
* Why does Emily like Amber? "Because you treat me like a normal child." "You are a normal child." "With a castle and a crown." "Nobody's perfect."
* "Where there is a tiara, there is dirt. Trust me." -gay friend
* The king made his own handmade ornaments. I'm impressed. When did he have the time?
* Emily on her brother's playboy rep: "His idea of fun is playing William Tell."
* "Hey! No fraternizing with the enemy!"
* Next time you go sledding, please invite the queen.
* "I can't even go out for a beer with a girl without it turning into a national scandal."
* "Legit birther scandal."
* "She cleans up nicely." "Lipstick on a pig."
* "The queen is speaking. so zip it."
* "What about our honeymoon?" "Oh shut up, Simon!"

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