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Movie Info

RATING:

PG

RELEASE:

August 11, 2004

GENRE:

Comedy

STARRING:

Anne Hathaway, Heather Matarazzo, John Rhys-Davies, Hector Elizondo, Julie Andrews

WRITER:

Shonda Rhimes

DIRECTOR:

Garry Marshall

DISTRIBUTOR:

Disney

 

Please Note

In providing movie reviews on our site, CBN.com is not endorsing or recommending films we review. Our goal is to provide Christians with information about the latest movies, both the good and the bad, so that our readers may make an informed decision as to whether or not films are appropriate for them and their families.

MOVIE REVIEW

Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

By Phil Boatwright
The Movie Reporter

CBN.com - This sequel has the young American, now a college grad, about to take the throne when a scheming member of Genovia's parliament reminds everyone that to be queen, the young woman must first be married. She has 30 days to get hitched or she's out and the schemer's nephew will become king.

Directed with all the subtlety of Dr. Frankenstein, Garry Marshall steals bits and pieces from every entry in the Cinderella genre, including his own attempts. Sadly, the resulting cannibalization leaves us with a lifeless, nearly witless movie. Despite the efforts of a seasoned cast, there is simply no energy, and with very few exceptions, the comic routines just aren't funny.

The slapstick gags are clumsier than the lead character, the story in desperate need of a rewrite and the lead actress as blah as Milk of Magnesia (sorry, Ms. Hathaway, you have shown real talent in other performances). The sets are impressive one moment, and, well, Mickey Mouse the next. The cinematography is downright dismal and the direction completely lacks inspiration, style or whimsy.

That's rather harsh, I know, but with the talent involved and the Disney Studio's reputation for excellence in family programming, this is the most disappointing film yet this year.

That said, I must admit that the film will probably work for its intended audience, little girls who enjoy wearing tiaras.

When I was about ten or so, I saw a James Bond spoof called Last of the Secret Agents. It was a blast, with two good guys behaving like Martin & Lewis, a sinister, bald bad guy with a cool wardrobe and a Rolls Royce, and a cute heroine in a short miniskirt (well, maybe I was a bit older than ten). For years I would try to find the film playing on television. Thirty years later, I found it. Even taped it. Then one night I viewed it. Folks, it was the worst movie I ever saw. It was beyond awful. I've always said, "Nobody sets out to make a bad movie." Well, this film refutes that statement. There simply can be on other explanation. My point: there are some movies we enjoy as kids because they meet our criteria, they meet our sensibilities, and because we don't know better. (Most kids prefer Hamburger Helper to filet mignon.)

The Princess Diaries 2 is a clean movie, with positive statements about caring for others, what's really important in life, and finding true love. It stars an average-looking role model who says to be a princess you must believe you are a princess. (I guess that's a good message -- it's all about female empowerment -- girls should never be considered second to boys -- for sure, that's a right-on message).

Preteen girls should enjoy it. But for the rest of us, it's Hamburger Helper.

Rating: PG (I found nothing objectionable, no exploitive sex or lewd humor, nor did I catch any objectionable language; what's more, there are several positive messages geared towards preteen girls).

Video Alternative: Anne of Green Gables. A wholesome, yet dramatic story of the effect a young woman has on her community.

DEFINITIONS
Crudity-Lacking in culture, tact
Expletive-An obscene word or phrase
Obscenity-Objectionable or repugnant to acceptable standards of decency or morality; indecent; pornographic; offensive in language or action.
Profanity-Irreverence toward God or holy things.
Blasphemy-To speak impiously or contemptuously of God or sacred things.
Adult Subject Matter-Situations or subjects unsuitable for or difficult to comprehend by children.


Author's Note: Dear Readers, Please deep in mind that The Movie Reporter is not about promoting movies. I try to show balance and fairness by bringing the good of a film to your attention, as well as the bad. I hope you find my opinion interesting, but please make your movie-going decisions after assessing the synopsis and content. The goals for my ministry are to serve as an informative tool, and to remind movie fans of great films from Hollywood's past. While it is not my purpose to preach or push a particular denominational dogma, I do want to stress that the truth lies in God's Word, seldom in Hollywood's products.

Phil Boatwright is the editor of The Movie Reporter. Review used by permission. Go to Phil Boatwright's website at www.moviereporter.com for details on how to have reviews of new films delivered directly to your e-mail address.

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