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The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement /

Rated: G

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews, Callum Blue, Hector Elizondo, Heather Matarazzo

Directed by: Garry Marshall

Produced by: Whitney Houston, Mario Iscovich, Debra Martin Chase
Written by: Shonda Rhimes
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures


Callum Blue , Anne Hathaway and Chris Pine in Walt Disney's The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Anne Hathaway and Chris Pine in Walt Disney's The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Anne Hathaway , Julie Andrews and Hector Elizondo in Walt Disney's The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

     …And I thought Little Black Book was scary.

     The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement picks up five years after the original left off, but it’s a whole lot more painful than its predecessor. That film, albeit clichéd, managed to be somewhat entertaining, if unsatisfying. This one is both conventional and abominable, sticking Anne Hathaway’s Princess Mia in one stupid situation after another. Royal Engagement is an unforgettably excruciating experience; I can vividly remember every scene in it, now, more complexly than I can with many films that I deem to be masterpieces, as their credits roll. Director Garry Marshall doesn’t even bother to pick up the nasty residue each one of his overlong scenes leaves before transitioning into the next. What’s even worse is that every single square inch of it is boring.

     This time, instead of resisting the position of Princess, Mia must vie for queen-ship in Genovia. Sir Nicholas (Chris Pine) is also eligible to be king, so, in order for our bland heroine to take the crown (ahem, tiara), once her Grandmother (Julie Andrews) steps down, she must marry within thirty days. Now, of course, it’s easy to figure that Mia will find a bachelor to wed with, and their plans will seem fine and dandy, but then she’ll come to realizing that true love isn’t formed over such a short period of time. Isn’t it pleasant? Actually, the plot made me nauseous, in more than one way. Not only is Mia joyous enough about her newfound lover to want to marry him after just meeting him, which is dysfunctional enough, but she ends up with a guy that she’s related to (if I have done my math correct), in the end. Whatever she may come to realize, in the third act, the quirks of Royal Engagement seem very strange. I’m not so sure that even preteen girls will enjoy this shallow, dumb wannabe-farce.

     From the beginning, the movie follows a cookie-cutter formula, which seems to affect all of its other elements. Not only is the plot dull, but so are the visuals, the dialogue, and, above all, the performances. Hathaway, who has much experience in this type of movie, is as dull as ever. Her most sympathetic moment occurs as she woofs down some Hagen-Das ice-cream. If this is not a problem, I must be terribly confused, as a person. Alongside her is the accomplished Julie Andrews, who I never imagined could be so generic in a role. Perhaps her work holds some kind of greatness; the fact that she was able to deliver a mediocre performance stunned me. But, I suppose anything’s possible in a Garry Marshall flick. I was literally trembling in fright as I witnessed Andrews sing a duet with a pajama-bearing version Disney’s Raven, to a hip-hop beat. It represents another addition to the list of the many things I never, ever want to see again in my entire life. With that said, it’s probably one of The Princess Diaries 2’s top sketches.

     I’ve decided to be minimalist in writing about this film, simply because I wish to stop reflecting upon my experience watching it. No good can come of such; after all, Royal Engagement is devoid of any entertainment or creativity in its contents to think about. This is one movie that I have doubts about anyone enjoying. (Could even a small child ignore its gigantic flaws?). Taking the time to analyze a motion picture such as this is only a burden for me and my readers. If it wasn’t my obligation to promote the truth, I would’ve completely ignored The Princess Diaries 2. If you have taken five minutes to skim your way through this review, at least be thankful that I have hopefully spared you from 113 minutes of slimy garbage, directed by a man I no longer can trust, for a good time. Why haven’t I given the film zero buckets? Maybe I’ve been brainwashed to believe that it’s actually a wee bit better than it really is, by the slick and glamorized promotion. Yeah; that must be it.

-Danny, Bucket Reviews (8.13.2004)

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