The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Cast:
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

Critique:
In this light hearted sequel, the entire cast of the first movie has been brought back to continue the story of Princess Mia of Genovia (Anne Hathaway). This time Mia, with the help of her grandmother Queen Clarisse (Julie Andrews), is about to assume the throne. Through the objections of Viscount Mabrey (John Rhys-Davies), it is learned that Mia must be married within 30 days in order to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps.

Yet again, the clumsy charm of Hathaway is perfectly counterpoised against the grace and style of Andrews. They both recapture the spirit of the first movie and make a rather uninspired sequel a pleasant thing to watch. This time out Chris Pine, as Nicholas Devereaux, is the unrequited love interest while Callum Blue, as Andrew Jacoby, is the misguided object of Mia’s desires.

While this film follows the same formula as the first, it does have some fresh material. Director Garry Marshall knows what his target audience, mostly tween – teen girls, wants and faithfully delivers it. The one main difference is the pacing of the films. The original did not get bogged down and kept a fairly steady pace. However, Royal Engagement devotes a lot of screen time to the interpersonal romance, which brings the action to a standstill. This is not a bad thing for the majority of the audience, but it is a bit much for people that just wanted light comedy.

Of special note is the singing of Julie Andrews. She has had throat problems in real life and has not been singing anywhere. During a slumber party scene, she sings a few lines here and that alone is enough to get her fans to see the movie. Her singing is interrupted by the singing of Raven, in a cameo role, who will bring a different generation of fans to the movie.

Technically the movie is solid. There is just not much action or special effects to get wrong. The score is a lively one that meshes well with the film. Even though filmed almost entirely on the Universal Studios lot, they were able to create a believable Genovia.

Who should see this movie? If you liked the first one then there is nothing here that will prevent you from also enjoying this one. Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews are a great team and hold the movie together well. There is romance and light comedy throughout. If that is what you are looking for, you do not need to see the first movie to enjoy this one – although it is recommended. If action or a deep intellectual challenge are what you are seeking, you need to go someplace else. Overall, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement is just what you would expect out of a sequel after watching the first movie, which is a very good thing to the many fans of the original.

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