Trying to fall in love with film again.

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement is a movie I have loved since the first time I saw it.

Story 

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement takes place 5 years after the first one. After finding out that she is heir to the throne, Princess Mia returns to Genovia to take her place as queen. However, she finds out that she has to be married in order to ascend to the throne which leads to a string of comedic hijinks.

Unlike, the first movie, this movie isn't based on the books. And while I am someone who gives movies the side-eye when they veer from the source material, I'm not mad at it in this case because it does a perfect job of staying consistent with the tone set by both the books and the first movie.

Acting 

The cast is a big fat win. Anne Hathaway is a very likeable actress and Mia is a very likeable character, which makes the casting perfect. She still has the same qualities which make her relatable. She's kind-hearted and clumsy while also being strongwilled and confident. Mia is a character, I saw myself in and because of that, the books were my favourite for a long time and have them all on my shelf.

Do I have to say anything about Julie Andrews? I mean she's Mary Poppins AND Maria from The Sound of Music. The woman is strongly linked to my childhood. She also has all the qualities that you would want in a queen. She's poised, gracious and when I was younger, if you hadn't told me that she was acting, I would have thought that she was a queen. Queen Clarise also happens to have one of my favourite movie quotes. 


And while she isn't like her literary counterpart, this version feels more like a grandmother.

Fun fact, I watched this movie long before I knew who Chris Pine was and when I was reminded that he was in the movie I was shocked.  And then I went back to watch it, and there he was. It's no secret that I'm a fan of his and to see him in one of my favourite movies was an added bonus. He and Anne Hathaway have great chemistry, they really mesh together and make the movie as a whole more enjoyable.

The supporting cast, also make the film more enjoyable. They all have great chemistry and comedic timing. Sure, some of the performances lean towards cartoonish, but they fit the overall tone of the movie.

Writing/Direction

This movie was directed by the great Garry Marshall, was written by Shoda Rhimes and produced by Whitney Houston.  When I found out who had written and produced the movie, I loved it even more than I had (which was a lot). 

It plays out like the average rom-com, meaning that it is a little cliche but I love it anyway. The movie as a whole has a happy disposition (if that's possible) and good comedic timing. The jokes are over 16 years old but still manage to make me laugh, more so now that I understand them. It's not trying to be clever, it just wants to entertain you and it does that. Given the fact that it has a runtime of almost 2 hours, I really didn't notice because it keeps you entertained throughout. 

CGI/Set Design 

I know Genovia isn't a real place but that doesn't stop me from wanting to go there.  It looks like the perfect place to spend your summer holiday, while also being the perfect backdrop for a movie like this.

Score/Soundtrack

While the score isn't going to win any Oscar's, John Debney did a great job of writing a score that adds to the tone of the film. While tonal shifts don't happen, there are a few auditory cues that let you know what is going on, even though the dialogue already does that. 

The soundtrack though..... Filled to the brim with talent. There are so many pop icons, fro Kelly Clarkson to P!nk to Jesse McCartney and Avril Lavigne. It's been a minute since I listen to it but looking back, I'm filled with really fond memories. AND this movie is the first time Julie Andrews had sung in public and on-screen since 1997 which makes the song all the more special.

Overall Thoughts

If it isn't obvious, I LOVE this movie, it's one of my favourites. My sister recommended it for this week's movie and it's perfect seeing today happens to be my birthday. It's one of the movies I watch as a pick-me-up seeing as it's full of heart and also happens to be really funny. Interestingly enough, the movie was met with critical disdain it is loved by many. In fact, I don't know many people who don't like this movie. It has charm and wit and is just overall a really fun movie that I can quote. Sure it's a little cheesy but I love that about it. 

There have been rumours of a third film for 16 years which has seemingly been confirmed.  and I will patiently wait for news of a third movie. Till that happens, I'm going to go re-read all the books.

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