On this Tuesday morning, while I’m laying on my bed, devoured by illness (winter is here after all), I launch this new section, entitled Dumb Movies 1.0.1, in an attempt to save you from watching widespread unintelligent time-consuming dumb films. You will thank me later on.
A Christmas prince : THE pitch
The story begins in a snowy, Christmas-y NYC, and introduces us to Amber, a really cute nice-looking « girl-next-door » kind of woman. But it so happens Amber is a junior journalist (honestly, can women in NY be anything else ?), often degraded by her boss and co-workers, who do not value her. Okay, waiting for the magic ? Here it comes : her boss finds herself short of journalists to cover a potential royal scandal in Moldavia and sends Amber. Spoiler alert : there’s a prince.
The reviewer’s notes :
As you probably know already, this is the kind of thing you watch because you are sad and depressed or sick. You can obviously guess the end of the plot (girls can’t resist rich gorgeous kind princes, dah), and we are not aiming to find a realistic story when watching rom-coms. But what is it that makes this movie so bad, huh ?
Act 1 : the timelapse
The whole scenario is fit into a 15-20 days time period, just before Christmas to New Year’s Eve. It is an extremely short time to deeply fall in love with someone you see two to three hours a day, but I will overlook this considering it is a PRINCE we are talking about.
Still, though, it would have been fine if they just implied Amber and Prince Richard had fallen madly in love in a few days, and pursued their getting to know each other after the film ends. However, that was most likely too normal for the screenwriters, and so they added a beautiful accepted marriage proposal on the 31/12 (*cough, cough, cough*). Very subtle.
Act 2: The lack of any non-stereotypical characters
From Prince Richard, an alleged playboy who turns out to be extremely caring, to his ex, a manipulative heartless gold-digging girl, every character in this movie answers specific stereotypes. They all fall into cliches : the queen is severe but understands when to step-down from her ruler role; the antagonist, Simon, is a vile fool; the prince’s sister has been mean to every tutor because she’s so hurt by life, but suddenly acts all nice with Amber (disclaimer : in real life, mean people don’t become friendly overnight).
And that could have been okay, again, if it only applied to these secondary (-ish) characters. The problem is, Amber falls into the exact same pattern : she is sweet but clumsy; humble but not too much; ambitious but not driven; she seems to do whatever goes through her mind without ever thinking about it, which makes it hard to like her. Everything that happens to her seems out of the blue…
The poor acting does not help the case either. Much of it seems over-played and artificial, there’s no flow or character chemistry (which is pretty bad in all movies, but especially in rom-coms where you’re supposed to fall in love with the protagonists).
Only bonus : the choice of the actress for Amber. Romances tend to always choose actresses who fall into the common definition of a perfect body-type. The main character is always played by a gorgeous thin model-looking person who does not represent the majority of women at all. Amber is gorgeous too, don’t get me wrong, but she isn’t super thin, super Angelina Jolie-like, she’s just human. Beautifully normal. She has existing tights, and belly. She looks like my friends, like me, just blonder. And that’s a relief.
Act 3: Bad decor
And by « decor » I do not mean only the royal castle’s scenes and the snow-covered forest around it. By decor, I mean everything surrounding the characters.
Usually, when you make a movie about a royal family, you endeavor to achieve a coherent monarchy, with something slightly credible. Not like making the prince king in front of a half-empty assembly in five seconds. Or letting a 12-year-old threaten journalists like in a dictature. Or forgetting famous people have invasive body guards around them.
Furthermore, the decor in its stricter sense is pretty bad as well. Everything looks cheap and weird. Definitely not royal.
And that’s a wrap up ! I think I’ve said pretty much everything there is to say about this movie, and luckily, will have persuaded you to avoid watching it. I love rom-coms too, dear fella, just not bad ones. On that note, go watch a Hugh Grant movie – that is salvation.