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Movie Review

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Reviewed by: Lacey Mical (Callahan) Walker
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Family
Genre:
Romance Comedy
Length:
2 hr.
Year of Release:
2004
USA Release:
______
Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures
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Copyright, Walt Disney Pictures
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Featuring: Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews, Callum Blue, Hector Elizondo, Heather Matarazzo
Director: Garry Marshall
Producer: Debra Martin Chase
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

“To get the kingdom of Genovia… there’s just a little hitch.”

Having much enjoyed the first Princess Diaries installment, I was curious to see how screenwriter Shonda Rhimes and director Garry Marshall would continue the tale. Sequels are often a disappointment, so I didn’t hold high hopes for this one. To my delight, “Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement” is actually better than the first.

The story proceeds as Princess Mia graduates college and returns to Genovia to prepare for her coronation as the time approaches for her grandmother, Queen Rinaldi, to hand down the throne. Mia is welcomed home by much of the same ensemble from the first movie, along with a few new, peripheral characters who add dashes of comedy throughout the already charming script.

Set in a palace complete with hidden passageways, royal subjects, bumbling guards and singing chambermaids, this film has more of a fairy tale feeling than did the original, which is fitting as Mia has left her American schoolgirl existence and transitioned into her role as the reigning princess of Genovia.

The plans for Mia to inherit the crown as Genovia’s new queen are upset when a scheming, power-hungry member of parliament—whose nephew follows Princess Mia in line for the throne—begins to sow discord, pointing out Mia’s unmarried state and the nation’s law that the queen must have a husband. To her grandmother’s dismay, it is decided during a meeting of parliament that the princess must choose someone and marry within thirty days, or forfeit the crown. Mia is faced with the dilemma of whether she should jump into an arranged, loveless marriage for the sake of her country, or wait to find true love and never become Queen.

The character of Princess Mia, played charmingly by Anne Hathaway, is a refreshing change of pace from the heroines we are usually presented in today’s movie fare. She is respectful and modest. She honors her grandmother, and puts others first. Like the original film, Mia continues to be ever-clumsy and she is still somewhat shy. These imperfections only serve to endear her to the audience as she continues striving to please her grandmother and become a graceful ruler.

It was once again a delight to see Julie Andrews playing Queen Rinaldi. The extra treat in this film is her singing duet with Raven. Of course, her performance was not as elaborate and grand as the ones we cherish from her Mary Poppins days, but how wonderful to see Miss Andrews singing and dancing in a Disney film again.

I was eager to see how the relationship between Queen Rinaldi and her head of security, Joseph (Hector Elizondo) would develop, and I wasn’t disappointed.

There are two disappointing moral aspects to the story:

There is a feminist message in the conclusion of the film. I know that some parents will want to avoid presenting their children with the message that women are created to rule a nation, with or without a husband.

Also, the idea that physical attraction and chemistry are the foundation for a good relationship is promoted. A young man kisses Mia and that kiss tempts her to want a relationship with him. She kisses another man in her life, and he and she discuss the fact that there is no “spark” and no “fireworks.” Obviously this is not the way that God instructs us to find a mate.

One scene of particular concern is when Mia spends the evening in a park with a young man, the two fall asleep. We see them the next morning, under the same blanket, with her head on his chest. It is made clear that they did not engage in sexual activity, but a member of the media video tapes them waking up in this compromising position, and Mia’s family is embarrassed in front of the nation. Mia is humiliated and repentant. The Bible instructs us to “give no appearance of evil,” and parents can use this scene as a springboard to discussion about how important it us to guard our reputations and not place ourselves in unwise, dangerous, and compromising situations like Mia did.

At the showing I attended, the audience seemed totally engaged. They laughed and cheered, and I even saw some moist eyes. It was good to see people of all ages so thoroughly enjoying a G-rated movie. More, please!

If you haven’t seen the first Princess Diaries, I recommend renting it to watch before the sequel. Together, they make a charming set that the whole family can enjoy.

Violence: None / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Minor


Read our review of The Princess Diaries 1.


Viewer Comments
Positive—“Princess Diaries 2” has no objectionable material in my mind, however, one of the trailers that is included in the Buena Vista movie pack does not match the genre of PD2. The title of the movie trailer is “National Treasure” and is about a man wanting to steal the Declaration of Independence. As for PD2, it is a cute “fairy tale.” The ending is one that makes the audience feel good inside. Princess Mia (Anne Hathaway) throughout the film chooses the right road when it is presented to her and even constructively objects to Genovia’s Parliment—to change a law that is wrong in her mind. Because it was not made by a Christian movie house, I cannot rate it entirely Christian, however, this is a cute movie that many people will like to see.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Colby, age 29
Positive—The movie was excellent for all ages, why can’t we have more of these movies. No curse words at all in this film… This would have to be in my top 5 movies all time (Princess Diaries 1 and 2).
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Heather, age 23
Positive—Wow! I thought Hollywood forgot all about quality rated “G” movies. My daughters and I were thrilled with this sequel. The story line is interesting and filled with “teachable” subjects: like women in authority, consequences of our actions, loyalty to family and beliefs, and God’s plan for marital relationships. My daughters and 5 and 11 and they both enjoyed it, as did I!
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Jennifer, age 32
Positive—This movie was a wonderful family movie for anyone of all ages to see. There was no cussing what so ever, and you don’t see that in many movies these days. This is a good quality movie with lots of funny movies. Great ending! Highly reccmmended.
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Erin, age 19
Negative—If you take your kids to a movie, this is safe, but not very good. It has some “cute” moments, but the plot is week and it goes on way to long. As an adult I had trouble sitting still for 2 hours, I can’t imagine a child doing the same. This is a movie that’s better seen on video, where you can get up and walk around or do something else while watching it. The “princess” aspect and all of Mia’s lovely clothes should appeal to little girls. The fauts in this film certainly aren’t because of the actors. Julie Andrews makes this movie somewhat enjoyable, and looks absolutely stunning. It was also a huge treat to hear her sing again, even if it was briefly. Anne Hathaway is Cute as a button and is very expressive with dead on comic timing. With a better story these two together would have been fabulous. I would say, take your kids to “Shrek 2” a movie that’s fun and entertaining for everyone, both kids AND adults and save “The Princess Diaries 2” for a video rental.
My Ratings: [Good/2]
—Kat, age 19
Positive—I saw the first Princess DIaries with both my parents, I saw this one with my mother, sister, aunt and 11 year old cousin. I, being the romantic that I am, was very glad to see a sweet movie about love that I wasn’t embarrassed to see with my mother. The fact that Mia is always trying to do the right thing is admirable, and it is qualities like that which make a good leader. It gives a good feminist view, as Mia and her grandmother both believe that it is sexist that a woman should be married to be a ruler, but not a man, in the end, she fights for (And gets) equality, which is what happened when women petitioned to get the vote. I loved this movie and really want to see it again.
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Becky, age 18
Positive—What a super movie! I brought my 6 year old with me after viewing the other reviews on this Web site, and I was not disappointed. There was nothing concerning to me in the film, and I was able to use the comments on this site for discussion with my daughter after which was great! I highly recommend this film to everyone and pray for more films like this to bring my family to.
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—Tammy, age 33
Positive—The Princess Diaries 2 is a wonderful and funny movie. It is full of surprises! It teaches every little “princess” to be yourself. I highly recommend this movie.
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Victoria Lewis, age 20
Negative—…it’s quite lame. The good thing about it is that there was really nothing offensive. I’m always happy to have a G rated movie to enjoy with my family!! As the mother of 3 daughters, I thought the message that the Queen didn’t need to be married to be Queen was not offensive at all. I enjoyed the romance part of the movie, and Ms. Hathaway and the young actor who played the romantic interest both did good jobs in their roles. The movie was about 30 minutes (45, perhaps) too long! Several parts could have been left out (the pajama party was particularly lame… and seeing Julie Andrews sing again made me very sad. She has a right to be angry about that botched surgery).
My Ratings: [Good/1½]
—Kris, age 44
Positive—I took my 9 year old daughter to see this (we loved the 1st one). The story line was interesting enough to keep our attention. The scenes where bright and colorful! What I did notice was the movie taught loyalty to family and friends. It showed that making mistakes is part of life and that we can learn from them. Last, but not least, it showed that sometimes you have to stand up for what is right even if you risk loosing everything. I would recomend this movie to any of my friends with (or without) children.
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Connie, age 38
Positive—I really enjoyed this movie. I found it a little funnier than Princess Diaries 1 and yes there were a scene or two that were not the best(the one where she was sleeping under the tree all night with the one young man) and the comment about a young man having a “boyfriend” I did not care for, but all in all it was a fairly clean movie for the whole family to enjoy.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4]
—Jennie, age 19

Comments from young people
Positive—This was a great movie! I liked it a lot although there was some stuff I think they could have left out of the movie. For example, when Queen Clarice, Mia and some other girls were looking up the men that she could possibly marry; Mia saw a guy that she liked and said he was handsome. Her security guard said and I quote: “His boy friend thinks he’s handsome also” which should moved the rating up from a G to a PG. Then, later on in the movie, Mia sleeps with a guy and the thing is; you never know if they had sex or not. I think it’s against Christian morals to sleep with some one even if they are not married (Appearance of evil). Above all, it was a great movie but a child 6 or younger should have a adult with them.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/4½]
—Hannah, age 11
Positive—It was a great movie! I liked it when Julie Andrews sang, as I remember seeing her in Mary Poppins and it was great to hear her sing again. She and Raven were great and the small dance was not at all offensive. The moral was good too. Girls should be able to rule without being married just as much as men. We have the right to vote—why can’t we rule too? It is overall a great film. none of the clothing was revealing, there was no language, and the plot is perfectly G-rated. I’d give it a ten if it was possible!
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Cassie Burton, age 11
Positive—…this was a wonderful movie, and it was quite funny. I recommend it for the whole family to watch. There was one scene that may be slightly objectionable, but overall I think the movie was quite clean.
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Dorothy, age 1
Positive—I love this movie! It is really good. There is nothing bad—no cuss words or anything! It is all very good. It is better than the original Princess Diaries! I think that this movie was very great.
My Ratings: [Excellent!]
—Tessa, age 10
Positive—This movie is absolutely refreshing! What a relief to finally see a movie that is genuinely fun and innocent! I am so tired of seeing films that mutilate and uglify God’s wonderful gifts of love and language. There is no swearing, sex, alcohol, or drugs. All the clothing worn are modest and unrevealing. After this movie I was so impressed that a movie was actually made that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. This movie left me wishing for a 3rd installment of these charming movies!
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Leesha, age 17
Positive—My family and I went and viewed Princess Diaries 2 last week hoping that it wouldn’t be a flop like a lot of sequels are. We were not disappointed. Everyone, from my sister age 8 to my dad, laughed and cried with Mia as she went through the trials of becoming queen. We were happy to find this movie very clean and with many positive messages. At the end there is a small push of girl power but it was done tastefully. We are really looking forward to seeing it again when it comes out on video.
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Laurie, age 17
Positive—I really like this movie! It has no bad language, and no sexual contact. It has a good plot, and it is safe for children. The movie is great!
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Kimberly, age 11
Positive—This movie is so good. Everyone can enjoy this movie all the way from grandmas to little children. It is totally appropriate for all age groups. I am 12, and I loved it!! I would totally consider seeing it again and will probably buy it when it comes out on VHS and DVD. It is clean their is no language or bad scenes. My 8 year old sister saw it and loved it also. You should definitely go see it!!
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Girl4God, age 12
Positive—I really enjoyed this!! There was absolutely NO cussing or anything sex-related.great for girls who loved the first. I didn’t think it lived up to the first one (as not many sequels do), but there were still funny things with the same funny cast. GREAT MOVIE!!
My Ratings: [Good/4]
—Emily Reynolds, age 15
Positive—I thought this movie was funny and a nice movie. My mom was so happy because the movie didn’t have one cuss word! I think it would be a great family film for all ages. In my opinion I thought it was a little better than the first one. So go see it!
My Ratings: [Good/4½]
—Carolyn, age 11
Positive—I loved this movie! You were totally hooked from the second it started. I thought it was even better than the first one! Princess Diaries 2 was totally appropriate. There was no foul language and not once did they use the Lord’s name in vain. This just goes to show that a movie doesn’t have to be packed with sex and profanity to be really great!
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Danielle, age 14
Positive—Princess Diaries2 is about a girl who tries to be princess of a country… TRIES is the key word. It is a great movie that I think everyone will like…
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Victoria, age 12
Positive—Wow, I loved PD2. It was great! …better then the 1st.
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Ana, age 13
Positive—…really good! It is even better then the first movie!! Anyway I would recommend this to everyone! (especially 12 to 13 year olds!)
My Ratings: [Excellent!/5]
—Lindsay, age 12
Positive—…very good… good morals and no swearing… a good family movie for all ages.
My Ratings: [Good/5]
—Jason, age 13