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Overall Rating
3.57

Awesome29.79%
Worth A Look: 24.47%
Average: 26.6%
Pretty Bad: 11.7%
Total Crap: 7.45%

4 reviews, 70 user ratings


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Princess Diaries, The
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by Jason Whyte

"If you like Anne Hathaway...go see Ella Enchanted!"
2 stars

"The Princess Diaries" is a film that will drive you nuts because the momentum of happiness is soured too much by idiot plots, bad writing and too much wasted time on supporting actors in feeble subplots. This film is sloppy and uneven, saved to a degree by Anne Hathaway, but soured by the pen of Gina Wendkos ("Coyote Ugly") who, in admist of bad writing, actually has two characters saying something like this: "This dance is a combination between a Waltz and a Tango"; to which the other character replies "Does that make it a Wango?"

Anne Hathaway plays Mia, your typical movie nerd who has long unkept hair, thick glasses (that suggests that everyone who wears glasses looks like this), and is constantly ridiculed at her private school. Her mom (Caroline Goodall) has one of these weird jobs you only see in the movies, who seems to be a graduate of the Jackson Pollock school of painting, whose house is an old fire house filled to the brim with expensive equipment and designs (I wonder what the rent is like, rather, I wonder what a painter, who doesn't seem to make any money, makes).

It is almost Mia's 16th birthday, and she is suddenly summoned to the American consulate, where the Queen of Genovia (Julie Andrews) announces that Mia is an heir to the throne and is really a princess. Of course, Mia doesn't know what to make of this, and the Queen wants to make her over. Pretty soon, Mia is learning the walk and talk of being a princess all to the tune of a Larry Miller cameo.

What I liked about Mia's transformation is how it is reacted to. An even lesser film would have her walking in slow motion down her high school hall with students making silly comments (the recent film I remember doing this is "Ginger Snaps"), but Mia's friend (Heather Matarazzo) and brother (Jason Schwartzman) aren't impressed, and the opinion of the high school cheerleader (Mandy Moore) doesn't change much.....that is, until her true identity is revealed.

Anne Hathaway, who I saw last in the hilariously bad TV Series "Get Real," (a show that just kept getting worse and worse with writing comparable to porn films) is a real winner here as Mia. Hathaway has the charm of a young Julia Roberts mixed in with dashes of Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn, and shows individual range and humor. She's also incredibly beautiful both before and after her transformation (but lessen up on the makeup, Anne!) I sure hope to see more of her in the future. The same can be said of "Welcome to the Dollhouse" star Heather Matarazzo as Mia's friend, who always made me laugh. And Julie Andrews gives a performance that seems very easy for her: proper, delicate and customary.

However, I still don't know what to make of singer-turned-actress Mandy Moore's addition to this film. She's still cranking out bad albums and has decided to show the world that she can't act (in her film after this, she plays a teenager who falls in love with a guy from the wrong side of the tracks, and da-da-DUM, she's dying of cancer). She has no real charisma or creativity in this film as the head cheerleader-slash-jealous witch, and has a humilating exit with an ice cream cone on her breasts.

There are so many nice little moments in "The Princess Diaries," and I was certain at some points I would recommend the film, like when Mia shows the Queen how to play street games, the Queen eats a corn dog, or a run in with a San Fransisco trolley car and the arresting officer and street car operator are knighted. Sadly, the film goes downhill too much, faster than a skateboard on the San Fransisco hills. It is no more evident in a sequence where Mia is asked to a beach party the same night that her friend is airing a cable show (which, by the way, is the first show I've seen that begins without confirmation of a guest showing) and the same night when her brother is performing in a garage band. Even the P.A. announcement at school makes mention of the cable show.

The announcer should have said "Just in case you're not paying attention, Mia accepted a date the same night that she was supposed to be with her friends! If you thought that was a surprise, you need to see more movies!"

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=4725&reviewer=350
originally posted: 09/14/04 15:24:31
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User Comments

7/11/10 art A COCAMAMIE MOVIE! 1 stars
1/17/09 Shaun Wallner Wonderful story. 5 stars
1/13/09 Anonymous. a cute little girl movie that i watch when i'm depressing or something...:D 4 stars
10/03/08 PAUL SHORTT VAPID AND RIDICULOUS 1 stars
11/23/07 art a rainy day movie 3 stars
11/02/06 Kiwi Ok,taken w/ a grain of salt,completely different from the book,robert schwartzmen is cute 3 stars
10/31/06 danigyo GOOD n waaoooooo AMAZING ! 5 stars
9/02/06 Stanley Thai A funny and a very good film. 4 stars
8/15/06 David Cohen The moral: Monarchies are "cool" and cool people can do anything they want to others 2 stars
12/14/05 cartoon mania it's one of the good 'nice' movies 4 stars
10/07/05 prarthana good 3 stars
6/05/05 BoyInTheDesignerBubble Pretty Woman made for teens. 3 stars
3/10/05 Steph good 4 stars
3/03/05 Stewart Lame, stupid, ridiculous, endless, dull, and boring teeny-bopper princess fluff. 1 stars
2/02/05 Jeff Anderson Very, very predictable, but the incredibly smoking hot ANNE HATHAWAY SAVES THIS FILM!!!!!!! 3 stars
12/09/04 Kristina Williams trite, stupid, idiotic...but hey, it is Disney 2 stars
10/15/04 rhyan dave candelario wow!1men its awesome!!!what's the title of the movie again?. 1 stars
9/23/04 Rachel A fantastic film and for me it is a definite want to see again 5 stars
6/16/04 anggia parasamya good movie, good cast ,especially robert schwartzman 4 stars
6/05/04 Dean Rapp OMG those eyebrows 3 stars
5/31/04 Nobody Clumsy ordinary girl tries to become royalty. cue laughter 1 stars
8/31/03 I Would Predictable, and at times boring, but the cast are perfect. 3 stars
6/09/03 Clarise It was amazing 5 stars
3/04/03 Angelina best movie 5 stars
12/12/02 spacecowboy the trick is not to think. 3 stars
10/27/02 CR I love this film! IT ROCKS! Best Little Girlie, Chicky movie around! 5 stars
9/12/02 palaboy101 She's trying so hard to act dumb! King Ralph is a better movie than this pathetic slop. 2 stars
8/22/02 yvonne the ebst movie ever 5 stars
5/20/02 Linda this was wery good film.i like it. 4 stars
5/15/02 Blake This movie was the best family film that i have ever seen 5 stars
4/13/02 Christine Vo due that movies fucking kicked a$$ they did a grreat job getting robert to play micheal ! 5 stars
3/23/02 Rebecca it was a great movie give it very well done 5 stars
3/20/02 alice worth watching! 4 stars
3/17/02 Pinnara I think it's quite nice and also provides some thoughts, too! 4 stars
3/01/02 Chowie Here's a nice piece of shit 1 stars
2/20/02 Xaver The book is better. Andrews and Helizondo are a good team. 3 stars
2/14/02 Tiffany Faye Hawthorne Lame. Saw it on a day when I also had good BM, so could'nt compete for highlight of my day. 3 stars
2/06/02 Angela all in all, it's a family-friendly disney film. oh yeah, robert schwartzman is a god!! 4 stars
2/03/02 Allison Lafferty With or without her singing voice, a ROYAL pain seeing Julie Andrews reduced to such a role 3 stars
1/12/02 Kent Extremely predictable, poor script - typical teen flick! 2 stars
1/11/02 Michelle I luv Rob Schwartzman! Even if the movie sux watch it to see him! 4 stars
1/06/02 y2mckay Watched under duress, Enjoyed even less. Teenybopper crapola. 2 stars
1/03/02 Josh Benson AWESOME! ANNE HATHAWAY IS THE NEXT JULIA ROBERTS, BUT HOTTER!!!! 5 stars
1/02/02 laura AMAZING!! 5 stars
12/26/01 Tasha-Marie Moore AWESOME MOVIE...i'm watchin' it RIGHT NOW!!!! got it for x-mas. HIGHLY reccomended!!! 5 stars
12/25/01 alison i loved robert schwartzman...he did a real nice job. I still love the movie! It is awesome! 5 stars
12/23/01 Crystal it was neat, and Rob Schwartzman was great! i cant say that he wasnt attractive either. :) 5 stars
12/19/01 Jessica Robert is soooooooooo cute I WISH THERE IS PRINCESS"S DIARY 2 AND 3 5 stars
12/19/01 Monya_t This is the worst movie in the history of Shitty-assed films. Period. 1 stars
12/02/01 aurora robert is ohhhhhhh soooooo handsome 5 stars
11/22/01 Agnes It is totally awesome cuz Robert Szhwartzman is such a hottie , Anne is a cutie too 5 stars
10/27/01 Lydia This movie is great , the typical 21st century fairy tale,I love it ! 5 stars
9/21/01 Mia Syerina Anne Hathaway and Robert Schwartman are great actor and actres 5 stars
9/21/01 ELMER AMPARO THIS MOVIE IS TOTALLY PERFECT FAMILY MOVIE AND ANNE HATHAWAY IS SO PRETTY IN HERE I LOVE IT 5 stars
9/09/01 Deanna Long Cleanse your palate of it's coating of sturm und drang with this lover-ly fluff. 4 stars
9/06/01 D.K. the movie was totally awesome cuz it had rob schwartzman in it 5 stars
9/05/01 Harry Eylar A very intertaining AND enjoyable film 5 stars
9/05/01 Hanna I thought the movie was cute... not spectacular, but what did you expect? 4 stars
9/05/01 Revster.Jeffster kind of a snooze... but Julie Andrews is still the epitome of class- 3 stars
9/05/01 S. How nice to experience pleasant good humor at the movies. 5 stars
9/04/01 Ally I thought it was enjoyable, if fluffy. Bit too much stress on physical appearance, however. 4 stars
9/01/01 Suzz aimed at 12 y/o girls which is fine if you are one and not fine if you aren't 3 stars
8/26/01 Ray Great breakout film for Annie. 5 stars
8/26/01 kharisma a fun family film...if you're in the mood for a no-thinking-necessary movie, this is it 4 stars
8/24/01 mandie it's so rare to find a movie with a happy ending that doesn't have a "kiddie" story 5 stars
8/24/01 Liz a fun movie if youre not interested in seeing something too substantial. 4 stars
8/22/01 The Boy In The Designer Bubble Julie Andrews is a goddess. It was worth it just to see her. 5 stars
8/05/01 hilary i was the best G movie i've ever seen!!! 4 stars
8/03/01 Cindy Ruggerio Cute, funny, FAMILY, film. This critic is clearly a man, no explosions..boring right? MEN! 4 stars
6/25/01 Heidi Really cute! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  03-Aug-2001 (G)
  DVD: 03-Aug-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  13-Sep-2001 (PG)




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