"Watch only if you have breasts. No, floppy man boobs do not count."
I never understood the romantic comedy logic in which a woman becomes enraged after learning the man of her dreams has been hiding a secret (for instance the fact he’s the Prince of Denmark) to ensure he's loved for who he really is.
If I were dating a beautiful, seemingly perfect woman who told me she had been concealing the fact she’s also a filthy rich heiress, I’d be pretty stoked.I certainly wouldn't give it all up to go save starving third world children like Julia Stiles opts to do in The Prince & Me. I think Clive Owen and Angelina Jolie are alread on top of that, anyway.
If The Prince & Me’s title isn’t enough of a hint you’ve stumbled into estrogen purgatory, that fact will become readily apparent early on in this girly romantic fairytale.
The whole affair is about as believable as Stiles, she of the 46 teen Shakespeare adaptations, playing a character struggling through Intro to the Bard.
But that’s how Stiles, a driven pre-med student working her way toward John’s Hopkins, ends up falling for the crown prince of Denmark (newcomer Luke Mably).
His Highness is in the States to sew his royal oats away from the constant glare of the paparazzi.
Why Wisconsin you ask? Because even though he’s had a series of flings with beautiful European hotties, Mably is entranced by a television commercial for Wisconsin Girls Gone Wild. So basically the Prince comes to America because he believes drunken Wisconsin girls will show him their “Danish Pastries” if he feeds them enough alcohol.
As chick movie luck would have it, Mably is paired in organic chemistry class with Stiles and also becomes her co-worker at the local college hangout (you almost expect the guy from The Peach Pit to pop up the setting is so generic). Stiles helps Mably cope with the rigors of paying his won bills and in exchange his Highness waxes poetic about the Bard.
Faster than you can say Son in Law, Mably is spending Thanksgiving on the Wisconsin farm of Stiles’ family and participating in all manner of fish-out-of-water schtick. You know, cow milking, competitive tractor racing, the usual.
Which is the point at which The Prince & Me veers into chick flick hell. While in the States, this is a tolerable romantic comedy that builds up a modicum of chemistry between the two leads.
But the moment Stiles travels to Denmark (after a brief period of “I can’t believe you lied to me” indignation), The Prince & Me falls apart faster than a J. Lo marriage.
As if Stiles’ eventual return to her own dreams wasn't predictable enough, director Martha Coolidge (apparently Gary Marshall was booked) tosses in some oh so subtle symbolism such as a butterfly trapped in a glass cage.
It’s hard to believe Coolidge would stoop to forcing this sugar-coated nonsense down our throats. There are so few women directors working within the confines of the studio system, you’d think the filmmaker behind Valley Girl and Real Genius could come up with something a little more subversive.I’m not asking for a conclusion featuring a giant foil ball of popcorn and space lasers, but how about something less generic than …“And they lived happily ever after.”