Main cast: Julia Stiles (Paige Morgan), Luke Mably (Prince Edvard ‘Eddie’ Valdemar Dangaard), Ben Miller (Soren), James Fox (King Haraald), Miranda Richardson (Queen Rosalind), Eliza Bennett (Princess Arabella), Alberta Watson (Amy Morgan), John Bourgeois (Ben Morgan), and Joanne Baron (Margarite)
Director: Martha Coolidge
The Prince & Me is a nice change from the usual romantic stuff that hits the big screen – it’s a movie that actually subscribes to modern feminist sensibilities instead of merely paying lip service to it. Perhaps it is too caught up in trying to do this that the movie can sometimes come off as lacking in the fun factor. Still, pacing problems aside, this movie has heart in all the right places.
Prince Edvard Valdemar Dangaard of Denmark is enjoying his lifestyle of usual fast car races and faster friends when his latest tabloid headline angers his parents one time too many. While chaffing under his parents’ control, he catches a Girls Gone Wild-type of ad about a Girls of Wisconsin video on sale and thinking that it’s cool that Wisconsin girls bare their breasts so easily like that, he decides to take a year off his hectic schedule to enrol in a Wisconsin university. I hope people in Denmark are smarter than their fictitious prince.
In Wisconsin, he meets Paige Morgan, a pre-med student who has no time for frivolous fools like this new kid Edward. But they eventually fall in love as Eddie learns to be less self-absorbed and be more independent while Paige learns to open up her heart. But when Eddie’s real identity is exposed, Paige is angry and later conflicted. Eddie loves her and she he. But can the relationship last?
Julia Stiles is in her element playing the studious heroine. Luke Mably looks a little like Freddie Prinze Jr and I’m afraid his acting isn’t any better, but he has decent chemistry with Ms Stiles to make the romance watchable. Unfortunately, the script doesn’t really know how to keep the momentum going, and the scene where Paige tries to adapt to life in the Danish court drags aimlessly. Moments of comedy are far in-between, especially when the movie switches into heavy duty drama mode once Paige reaches Denmark.
But the ending is really nice. Cynics can argue about the workability of the relationship, but there’s something really satisfying about watching the newly transformed confident and responsible Eddie running back all the way to Wisconsin to tell Paige that he, the new King of Denmark, will never stand in the way of Paige following her dreams and will even wait for her if her dreams have no place for him at that moment. He even insists that he’s the lucky one to have a determined woman with ambitions to love. That’s a much needed score one, people, for intelligent chick-lit movies everywhere.
So yes, while there are serious pacing issues and perhaps Eddie changes from goof to aloof a little too soon, The Prince & Me makes it hard for me to dislike it.