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April 2004

By Julian Roman

The Prince and Me
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Martha Coolidge
Mark Amin
Jack Amiel & Michael Begler and Katherine Fulgate
Alex Nepomniaschy
Jennie Muskett
Julia Stiles, Luke Mably, Ben Miller, James Fox, Miranda Richardson, Eliza Bennett


If you're looking for a lighthearted romantic comedy about opposites attracting in a fairy tale environment then look no more. Paramount has packaged the perfect film for your enjoyment. The Prince and Me is a film with no surprises whatsoever. It's not a bad film or unentertaining. It has its moments and the lead characters, Julia Stiles and Luke Mably, have good screen chemistry. The problem is that the movie offers nothing more than rote predictability. From the opening credits to the closing credits, the movie plays it safe. It's meant for the teenage girl audience and the filmmakers make sure there's never a worry about plot or substance.

Prince Edvard of Denmark is a clone of the princes in the British royal family. He's got money, servants that beckon to his every need, good looks, and the need to rebel against the oppressive circumstance of being a prince. He sees a commercial on TV for "Girls Gone Wild" in Wisconsin and decides to go to school there. His parents disapprove and they cut him off financially, but send his stoic manservant (Ben Miller) to watch him. Paige Morgan is a brainy, dairy farm raised girl who has her entire focus on getting into medical school. They meet when a drunken Edvard asks to see her topless in the bar where she works. She hoses him down and the opposites are introduced. Fate continues to work, they end up being partners in a chemistry lab the next day and are forced to work together for the semester.

The story becomes trivial because it's predictable. What really works for the film, and prevents it from being awful, is the work of the principal actors. Julia Stiles and Luke Mably make the best of the dialogue and cheesy circumstances. It's meant to be a fairy tale and they make it believable. Ben Miller plays Soren, Edvard's manservant and watchdog. He's easily the most entertaining character in the film. He plays Soren perfectly; a dry, sarcastic man forced to watch over a spoiled heir all day. Soren gets all the laughs and leaves the romance to the co-eds.

Another issue with the film is its length. It's almost two hours long and every second after the first hour can be felt. There's a point in the film where it should have ended. It then goes on needlessly for another twenty minutes. If they had ended the film there, it would have been better. Dragging it out lessens the performances. It's very strange that the film was not edited further. I'd be interested to know what scenes they cut out of the film. There must have been something they took out, but I can't imagine what they would be.

The Prince and Me has a female empowerment aspect that is respectable. Paige doesn't sell herself out to be a princess. That's a nice message for teenage girls. They are the target audience and will probably enjoy the film. Men are going to have a hard time sitting through this one. Tread carefully when choosing this as a date movie, it offers nothing interesting.