A 2-pack of both Princess Diaries movies is now available to take home.
I recently had the opportunity to screen the Blu-ray DVD combo pack which contains 1 Blu-ray disc with both movies and a DVD copy of each movie.
The Princess Diaries
Until I started watching, I had forgotten how much I really like these films! The original Princess Diaries sets up the character of Mia (Anne Hathaway) pretty well in less than 10 minutes. Socially awkward, clumsy, doesn’t really fit in and would prefer to stay invisible (reminds me of my teenage years). She gets the opportunity to meet her Grandmother (Julie Andrews) whom she never really knew. Grandmother turns out to be the Queen of a country Genovia and reveals to Mia that she is a Princess. Mia’s got a lot of learning to do and discovers a lot of who she really is in the process.
Outstanding performances from Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway and Hector Elizondo here in this Garry Marshall directed film. This one’s rated G but younger viewers (pre-teen) probably won’t be able to relate as well to the characters and situations.
Mia Thermopolis is the average teenager – sweet, a little geeky and pretty much invisible to everyone with the exception of her mother, best friend Lilly and Lilly’s older brother Michael. Making it through high school without throwing up is a challenge in itself for Mia, so it doesn’t come as welcome news when her estranged grandmother shows up out of the blue and calmly informs her that she is in fact the heir to the throne of a European country called Genovia. Suddenly Mia’s life is thrown into complete overload. She’s being taught about scarves, waves and pears in order to become a perfect princess, she gets a makeover and a tough looking yet sweet bodyguard/limo driver called Joe. Things get out of hand when the media gets a hold of the story and suddenly Mia is thrust into the spotlight in both the newspapers and in school. On top of all that Mia has a choice to make. She must decide by Genovia’s Independence Day Ball whether she longs to relinquish her claim on the throne or to become the princess and heir to the throne and father and grandmother want her to be.
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement takes place 5 years after the original. Mia has just graduated from college, her mom is now married with a baby on the way and Mia’s about to head back to Genovia where a 21st birthday celebration is planned for her.
New challenges and dilemmas are presented in the sequel as Mia, who is about to take the crown as Queen of Genovia, discovers that Genovian law says that a woman has to take a husband before she can rule as queen, where a man is not bound by a marriage stipulation before he is able to rule.
Entertaining, though not quite as good as the original Princess Diaries. I did like that Julie Andrews took part in a musical number in this film but was slightly disenfranchised by the fact that she shared and then had the spotlight taken away by Raven-Symoné. Raven’s a talented girl, but Disney went way to far in their push to market her as a star. Fortunately, she didn’t have a big role in the film and it doesn’t detract from the overall film.
Chris Pine joins the cast in this film as does John Rhys-Davies with an attempt to oust Mia from the throne so that Pine’s character, Nicholas Devereaux, can rule as Genovia’s next King. Callum Blue (Dead Like Me, Smallville) also joins the cast as Andrew Jacoby and gives a good performance, although I think his role should have been slightly bigger than it was.
This one is also Rated G and younger female viewers may have a better time relating to some scenes in this movie through Mia’s outreach to some young orphans (mostly female) whom she makes honorary princesses. Mia also involves these same children in a combination bridal shower/slumber party complete with mattress sliding down the palace stairs.
Starring the irresistible Anne Hathaway and Academy Award winner Julie Andrews (Best Actress, Mary Poppins), this modern-day fairy tale picks up right where The Princess Diaries left off! As future queen of Genovia, Princess Mia (Hathaway) has everything a girl could want – except the magical romance she’s always dreamed of. But soon, Mia’s shocked to discover that she needs to get married right now or her family will lose the crown! Comic complications rule the day in this delightful family story about finding out who you really are and discovering what it takes to make your dreams come true!