August 11, 2004
Anne Hathaway, Heather Matarazzo, John Rhys-Davies,
Hector Elizondo, Julie Andrews
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.
Princess Diaries 2:
By Phil Boatwright
The Movie Reporter
- 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
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.
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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