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The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
2004 - G - 113 Mins.
Director: Gary Marshall
Producer: Mario Iscovich
Written By: Gina Wendkos, Shonda Rhimes
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews, Hector Elizondo, Callum Blue, Chris Pine
Review by: Joe Rickey
Official Site: www.disney.go.com/disneypictures/diaries2/
   

Pratfall # 1 of 1,000
It has been half a decade since Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) found out the shocking news that she is part of a royal family in the fairy tale-like kingdom of Genovia. Now she is 21 years of age and has earned a college degree.

Meanwhile, her grandmother Clarisse (Julie Andrews) is about ready to step down as Queen and pave the way for Mia to take over where she left off. She is tired of all the duties and bureaucracy surrounding the position as Queen. She believes Mia, her only heir, to be the perfect replacement. Unfortunately, there is a catch: In order to ascend the throne, the queen must be married. Therefore, Mia has a mere thirty days to find a suitable beau.

A ball is quickly organized at which Mia has a chance to dance with the numerous eligible bachelors. She hits it off with a young man named Nicholas (Chris Pine). The problem is, Mia faces pressure and appears to agree to an arranged marriage with Andrew (Callum Blue) even though in her heart, Mia believes Nicholas to be the right man for her.

‘The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement’ is an absolutely abominable attempt at cashing in on the surprise hit from the summer of 2001. The original was a light, sweet concoction that relied heavily on the goofy chemistry between Andrews and Hathaway. Conversely, this putrid attempt at a sequel goes for gimmicks almost every step of the way and features a script that is perhaps the most childish, immature piece of scripting for a Hollywood film yet this year.

The screenplay relies far too often on pratfalls by Anne Hathaway. Her Mia Thermopolis has got to be the clumsiest, most inept ballroom dancer; leading to various moments where she takes embarrassing plunders in front of large, impressionable crowds. The film also fails to make one care about Mia this time around, as she is portrayed as a flighty, self-centered diva most of the time.

The same could be said for Clarisse, who is given short shrift - the most interesting thing her character is given to do is to belt out a song in an obvious attempt to elicit some sort of nostalgia for Andrew’s role in ‘The Sound of Music’ years ago.

Director Gary Marshall indulges himself in every film he helms but with ‘Royal Engagement’ he overindulges to the breaking point. Every scene that could possibly use a heartfelt moment complete with syrupy music has one, and every scene that could go on for too long, does. This is sentimentality taken into overdrive, plain and simple. As a result, it is likely to make the audience gag from an overdose of sugary syrup long before they even think about shedding a tear. The only reason that may occur is after the film when one realizes that they have just wasted just short of two hours of their life watching this tripe.
 
Movie Guru Rating
A train wreck.  So bad some may find it unintentionally entertaining.
  1 out of 5 stars

 
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