The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

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Rating: G

Anne Hathaway as Mia Thermopolis
Julie Andrews as Queen Clarisse Renaldi
Hector Elizondo as Joe
John Rhys-Davies as Viscount Mabrey
Heather Matarazzo as Lilly Moscovitz
Chris Pine as Nicholas Devereaux
Callum Blue as Andrew Jacoby
Kathleen Marshall as Charlotte Kutaway
Tom Poston as Lord Palimore
Joel McCrary as Prime Minister Motaz
Kim Thomson as Reporter Elsie
Raven as Asana
Larry Miller as Paolo
Caroline Goodall as Mia’s Mom Helen
Sean O’Bryan as Mia’s Stepfather Patrick

Special Features:
Royal Bloopers

The PD2 Makeover

Deleted Scenes With Garry Marshall Introductions

“Breakaway” Music Video By Kelly Clarkson

Find Your Inner Princess — A Personality Quiz

Making A Return Engagement Hosted By Raven

A Julie And Garry Commentary

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
French, Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 113 Minutes

The following is from the DVD cover:

“Starring the irresistible Anne Hathaway (Ella Enchanted) and Academy Award® winner Julie Andrews (Best Actress, Mary Poppins, 1964), this modern-day fairy tale picks up right where The Princess Diaries left off! As future queen of Genovia, Princess Mia (Hathaway) has everything a girl could want — except the magical romance she’s always dreamed of. But soon, Mia’s shocked to discover that she needs to get married right now or her family will lose the crown! Comic complications rule the day in this delightful family story about finding out who you really are and discovering what it takes to make your dreams come true!”

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagament is rated G.

The Movie:
Though I liked Princess Diaries 2, I think I enjoyed the previous film more. While the sequel reunites the wonderful cast and still features the excellent chemistry between Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway, it lacks the charm and spontaneity of its predecessor. The plot is more predictable, there are more hokey moments, and it just doesn’t have that much energy.

Anne Hathaway again shines as Princess Mia. Not only is she a pretty face, but she handles the comedy well, too. Whether it’s taking a pratfall or making a silly face, Hathaway shows she’s willing to do anything to get a laugh. Her clumsiness makes her an excellent contrast to Julie Andrews. Andrews is as elegant and charming as ever. This time around she’s more in her element as the Queen than ever before.

The supporting cast is also excellent. Hector Elizondo returns as Joe the security guard. John Rhys-Davies takes a lighthearted break from his Lord of the Rings role to play Viscount Mabrey, the villain of the film. But there are a number of cameos as well. I was shocked to spot Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee in one bit part. Child actor Spencer Breslin has a cameo along with Newhart’s Tom Poston. The list goes on.

Princess Diaries 2 has a pretty good soundtrack. It is mostly teen pop music fluff, but American Idol winner Kelly Clarkston has a good song with “Breakaway”. (You’ve probably heard it on your local mix station.) Lindsey Lohan also has a song in the film. But the musical highlight of the movie is a duet between Cosby Show veteran Raven and Julie Andrews. As you know, Andrews has stopped singing because of health problems, but she was willing to break into song just this once for director Gary Marshall. Andrews fans will be thrilled by it though it is brief.

The Princess Diaries 2 is pretty much just for those that enjoyed the first film. Even those fans may prefer the original, but it is good entertainment for the pre-teen girls that it is aimed at.

The Extras:
There is a good selection of extras included on this DVD. Here are the highlights:

Royal Bloopers – As many falls and clumsy spills as there were in the film, there were even more off the screen. This is your standard blooper reel with flubbed lines, trips, funny faces, and clowning around. It is about three minutes long.

The PD2 Makeover – In this featurette, Anne Hathaway’s stand in gets her hair done, makeup done, and gets dressed up in outfits from the film. They give makeup and hair tips along the way. This one is definitely for the girls in the audience.

Deleted Scenes With Garry Marshall Introductions – There are 8 deleted scenes included on this DVD. Each scene is introduced by Gary Marshall. It’s a bit of overkill, but he explains exactly why each scene was removed. There’s one scene where Mia has an accident during a ceremonial pear picking. Another scene shows Mia’s love interest flirting with her by imitating the long line of suitors that she has seen. There’s also a funny puppet show that mocks Mia and her predicament. There are a few other brief scenes that aren’t quite as memorable, but they are interesting if you’re a fan of the film.

“Breakaway” Music Video By Kelly Clarkson – Chances are you’ve heard this song on the radio by now. The music video is a rather elaborate production that does tie in with The Princess Diaries here and there. Too bad Clarkson’s costumes are a bit ugly.

Making A Return Engagement Hosted By Raven – This is your standard ‘making of’ video. It features cast and crew interviews, behind the scenes footage, and other such goodness. The soundtrack is heavily emphasized and Raven even does a performance at the end. Fans of Raven will enjoy this.

A Julie And Garry Commentary – Andrews and Marshall provide the commentary for the film. They have a lot of lively discussion and they offer up all sorts of trivia about the filming of the movie.

The Bottom Line:
Fans of the first Princess Diaries will probably most enjoy The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. While the sequel isn’t quite as much fun as the original, it still features great performances by Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway.

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