Sunday, December 17, 2017

Movie Review: "A Christmas Prince" (2017)

Director: Alex Zamm
Year: 2017
Rating: TV-PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

A reporter trying to get a story on the Prince of Aldovia poses as a tutor for his little sister so she can get the inside scoop on the prince. As the reporter gets closer and grows more fond of the prince, she has to decide what's more important, her story or her feelings for the prince and the royal family.

Just when you think the Hallmark channel has the market on sappy Christmas romances cornered, Netflix swoops in with "A Christmas Prince" and tries to snag yet another movie market. This film is directed by Alex Zamm, who seems to specialize in directing crappier sequels to already crappy kid's movies. A few examples of his work are "Inspector Gadget 2," "Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2," "The Tooth Fairy 2," "Jingle All the Way 2," and "Dr. Doolittle: Million Dollar Mutts," which is shockingly the fifth installment in that franchise. It's really quite the resume. "A Christmas Prince" stars Rose McIver as Amber, a junior editor at a celebrity gossip and style magazine who is getting her first assignment as a journalist. She is sent to Aldovia to cover the coronation of Prince Richard, played by Ben Lamb, who has a reputation for being a bit of a playboy. Her boss hopes she can get a scandalous story as it's rumored Richard might abdicate the throne. Determined to get the inside scoop, Amber winds up posing as Princess Emily's new tutor. She becomes friends with Emily, played by Honor Kneafsy, and catches the eye of Prince Richard. Now, she must choose: does she do her job and get a scandalous story, or does she see where her blossoming relationship with Richard and friendship with Emily go? What's a woman to do?! IT'S JUST SO RELATABLE!!!!!!

As one might expect, "A Christmas Prince" is cliche, predictable, and loaded with endless amounts of schmaltz. Amber is about as boring and bland as Wonder Bread with no seasonings. She is like a female Alexander Skarsgård. The prince is thought to be a jet-setting playboy that leads an exciting and adventurous life, but he's secretly just as boring as good ol' Amber. Why travel the world with all the privileges of a prince's life? No, no, he prefers practicing archery and riding his horse to his father's secluded hunting cabin so he can sit and be along and do nothing. This makes them perfect for each other! If at the outset of "A Christmas Prince" you guessed Amber would fall for the prince and vice versa, you are probably right. If you guessed that there would be a conflict and a big secret reveal, you are probably right. If you guessed she would fall off her horse while riding in the woods and be attacked by wolves so the prince can save her "Beauty and the Beast" style, you're surprisingly probably right. This movie literally does nothing different with the genre, and frankly, we didn't expect it to reinvent the wheel. For many viewers, this sappy bit of joyful schmaltz is just what the doctor ordered to get you in the Christmas spirit. In many ways, this contrived mess does do the trick, even though every bit of emotion is forced and we see the ending coming from a light year away. In the end, "A Christmas Prince" isn't a good movie, but it may be one you can have a little fun with if you like something with this much mawkishness or are drunk enough to appreciate it.

My Rating: 5/10
BigJ's Rating: 4.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: Meh.

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