“Has Saturday night somehow turned into Disney nostalgia night? You know what, if I wanna watch a random blast from the past instead of following my systematic movie wall selection, then it’s my blog I do what I want. Or else what’s the point in having such a massive movie collection if I don’t use it? Besides, after The Finest Hours I was on a bit of a Chris Pine kick, so I had to rewatch his royal film debut.
The first Princess Diaries is certainly a nostalgic favorite. My parents had really taken to calling me princess around when it came out (the way they used it was a combination of sarcasm and affection, see where I get it from?) While it may have been a bit on the girly side from me, I absolutely loved it. How could you not? It was funny, told a unique story, and gave you a chance to really believe in fantasy. The second, I love for all the ways it reminds me of the first, even if it’s a much weaker installment.
So after learning of her heritage and birthright to rule over Genovia, Princess Mia (Anne Hathaway at her comedic best) returns to her new country from college, ready to take over for her grandmother. Unfortunately, there’s a law that says in order to rule as queen, she must be married. Mia has 30 days to find her prince charming and assume the throne.
Okay okay okay, holy gender roles Batman! This certainly wouldn’t fly under the somewhat more scrutinous eye of today, where we’re realizing how damaging gender stereotypes can be. But for two hours, who cares, it’s Disney!
I think all my favorite moments here are the throwbacks to the first. However, it’s really nice to see Mia in full princess mode, stepping up to her destiny. And Julie Andrews, as her grandmother and queen, is true royalty, and I love that Disney found a way to honor her as such. While Anne Hathaway has grown into quite the formidable actress, even earning some Oscar gold along the way, this will always be her signature role, and my favorite of hers. She’s just so much fun to watch, it’s no wonder the world fell in love with her.
Speaking of falling in love, Chris Pine *swoon*. It is kinda funny seeing him here, years before he would take the universe by storm as Captain Kirk. Here he’s the foe turned love interest trying to steal the throne from Mia before trying to steal her from her arranged fiance. While doing press for his new film, he was asked how he’d feel about a new Diaries sequel, and he said he’s on board. Me too, Chris! Me too!”