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Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Akin to Physical Torture

I wasn't even assigned to do a review of Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement but I feel it is my duty as a citizen to write this review as a kind of service to the public. It would be irresponsible journalism not to forewarn people of the potential mental hazards that this movie may expose one to, especially those of young, impressionable children who may be scarred for life after only one viewing.

After a marketing scheme in which I was falsely led to believe that this was in actuality a fun teenage romantic comedy of the 'ugly-girl-does-good' variety, I blindly wandered into the theater full of the (hollow) hope of watching Julie Andrews (I'm still a sucker for The Sound of Music) do her thang while the charming Anne Hathaway trounced goofily around the screen much like in its prequel. From the onset, I realized I was greatly deceived by the highly edited trailers.

To put it bluntly: Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. And it isn't even bad enough to be good; for example, everyone's favorite bad movie Showgirls which is so over-the-top awful that you can't help but laughing at its sheer insanity. While the movie does have a few, the key word here is few, laughs they are decidedly targeted towards the under-8 crowd, who, as we all know, will laugh at anything and have very low comedic standards.

Andrews returns as the aging and sexually repressed Queen Clarisse Renaldi of the 'kingdom' of Genovia (isn't this the name of some Pepperidge Farm cookie?), which seems to exist on one of the side streets of Ye Olde Village at Disney World, complete with blunt American accents, bad clothing and gawking tourists, rather than in Europe. Mia (Hathaway) goes back to her homeland after graduating from Princeton in order to take over the throne. However, a scheming, ambitious Parliament minister, John Rhys-Davies, blocks her ascension by pointing out an obscure law in which a princess must be married in order to take the crown, and then offers up his own slimy nephew, Chris Pine, for the position of King.

The rest isn't worth going into -- just that it's a jumble of terrible lines twisted into knots by affected acting encased within a saccharine plot. Director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman, Beaches) should have stuck to directing Mork and Mindy shows rather than have tainted his career with this piece of work. Andrews has officially fallen from the A-list and so it should end up as being no surprise when she turns up on Hollywood Squares. And Heather Matarazzoi, an Indie-princess, should fire her agent.

Stars: 0 out of 5