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The Prince and Me
2004 - PG - 111 Mins.
Director: Martha Coolidge
Producer: Ben Miller, Mark Amin
Written By: Katherine Fugate, Jack Amiel, Michael Begler
Starring: Julia Stiles, Luke Mably, Miranda Richardson, Ben Miller, James Fox
Review by: Joe Rickey

Picnic at the castle
At first glance, ‘The Prince and Me’ appears to be an insufferably generic romantic premise of a real-life fairy tale in which an ordinary college student studying to become a doctor comes across a fellow student whom she falls in love with after them first not taking a liking to each other. What she doesn’t know is that he is the Prince of Denmark on vacation; portraying himself as just another student. What will become of their relationship when she eventually finds out the truth?

As you can see, the premise isn’t exactly the most original one out there, but it’s not like romantic comedies and romantic films in general are known for being unpredictable. The film is a modern day fairy tale come to life, that’s all it tries to be and, despite marketing that bears to mind the insufferable adjective used earlier, the resulting film is undeniably charming and quite possibly the best film of its type thus far this year.

A film such as ‘The Prince and Me’ needs likable characters to succeed because of the fact that most of the audience will see where the storyline is headed from almost the first reel onward. Thankfully for all, the film has the aforementioned likable characters superbly acted by a talented cast. In the lead role as a straight-arrow girl with a self-determined life plan Julia Stiles is exceptional. She ably handles all the film throws at her; from the romantic portions with her on-screen partner Luke Mably to the lightly comedic scenes, Stiles never has a false moment. It helps immensely that, unlike some films that cast dimwitted actors in the role of intelligent individuals, it is very easy to buy Stiles as smart and goal-oriented med student Paige Morgan. After all, in real life she attends Columbia University In New York.

In the role as Prince Edward, Luke Mably (‘28 Days Later’) exudes a Prince Charming like personality and charm; perfect for the role he is playing. He also makes good use of the few moments where his character’s clueless nature regarding American lifestyle leads to comedy as it is very believable that someone such as himself would be raised as an aristocrat and not be privy to the life of “normal” commoners. He is the prince and it is exceedingly well done the way in which he sells that persona to the audience. The film also gets points for giving equal standard and respect for the minor characters; both from Denmark and America. It would have been a relatively simple way to garner cheap laughs if the film had portrayed the Americans as dumb and simple-minded people while portraying the high society people from Denmark as snobby and standoffish in their demeanor.

The film does have a few minor faults that keep it from perfection such as an ending the drags on for far too long and asks the audience to suspend their disbelief a little too much than should be required, even for a fairy tale such as this one. Overall though, ‘The Prince and Me’ is a well-cast, funny, and charming romantic fairy tale well worth seeing by people of all ages.

Movie Guru Rating
An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater. An excellent film.  Among the best in its Genre.  Worth seeing in the Theater.
  4 out of 5 stars

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