Landing a Royal Scoop (Film Review: “A Christmas Prince”)

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Can a sneaker-sporting American journalist win the heart of a bad-boy, reluctant heir to the throne, all the while posing undercover to scoop royal-watchers around the world before an imminent Christmas Eve coronation? It’s familiar territory but apropos for this holiday weekend watching, especially if you’ve got little ones about.

SnapShot Plot

In this uber-familiar, yet heartwarming Christmas romance, Kiwi actress Rose McIver (The Lovely Bones; Petals on the Wind) plays Amber, an aspiring young journalist sent on assignment to get the real story on a playboy prince from a small country in Europe who’s poised to ascend to the throne in a matter of days. Problem is, he’s currently MIA and word has it he’s not thrilled about the new job.

When our plucky girl Amber realizes she’s about to lose a golden opportunity to be a ‘real’ journalist, she does what any self-respecting American would do. She sneaks into the palace and when she’s mistaken for the new American tutor to Prince Richard’s young disabled sister, Emily, she dives right into the subterfuge. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before Amber sees there’s much more to the Prince (played by Ben Lamb, of Divergent and The White Queen fame) than meets the eye. Romance is in the air but the secret she’s hiding about her true identity, as well as a discovery she makes which has far-reaching consequences for the kingdom, threatens her own happiness and the very future of the kingdom.

 

 

Parting Shot

For the record, it will become evident from the start that A Christmas Prince is not the most original holiday film to come down the streaming pike this season. Indeed, it’s mostly retread material, with trope upon trope heaped on for good measure to the point where its utter predictability becomes in and of itself a strange source of comfort. Maybe that’s because of outlets like The Hallmark Channel which have built an entire rom-com Christmas sub-genre from this tried and true equation. So in a sense we find these types of movies particularly reassuring during a calendar period which can be exhausting in the least and anxiety producing at most. And to its credit, A Christmas Prince looks great, with exemplary photography which adds much to the production, which was filmed at the Peles Castle in Romania. And let’s not forget another reason this Netflix original movie may fare well this season: the very real love story and royal engagement of England’s Prince Harry to our own American ‘Commoner’, Meghan Markle. It’s a fairy tale ripped from the headlines, for sure.

So who cares if you can anticipate the dialogue and the happy-ever-after is a fait accompli? I look forward to seeing this again with my granddaughter and giggling together as most girls do when dreaming of princes and princesses.

A Christmas Prince is presently streaming on Netflix.

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YouTube Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Xr665Fdjbw

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