Queen Clarisse Goes to the Mattresses
Whilst it may feature a different storyline I feel I could repeat pretty much everything I said in my review of "The Princess Diaries" when discussing "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement". Basically it is more wish fulfilment fairytale drama for young girls who dream of being a Princess and having fun parties and handsome men willing to dance with. And as such "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" works as in the target audience will enjoy it but anyone else will be left feeling like it's all been done before. In fact in the end the most entertaining aspect for me was the surprise of seeing Stan Lee in a small role.
Time has moved on and having graduated college and returned to Genovia Princess Mia (Anne Hathaway - Ella Enchanted) is in preparation to take over as ruler from her grandmother Queen Clarisse Renaldi (Julie Andrews - Shrek 2). But Viscount Mabrey (John Rhys-Davies) plans to spoil things as his nephew Nicholas Devereaux (Chris Pine - This Means War) would become King if Mia was unable to become Queen and with an ancient law which says all Queens must be married before taking the throne there is just 30 days for Mia to meet a man and marry him, something which is made even more complicated by the fact Mia and Nicholas are fond of each other.
So the good thing about "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" is that whilst preserving some of the story elements from the first movie, such as the secret relationship between the Queen and head of security Joe we do get a different main storyline. The bad news is that the main storyline which sees Princes Mia having to get married in a hurry because of someone else trying to manipulate their way on to the throne is not original. It means that as a whole "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" is highly predictable and whilst okay for young girls it doesn't offer up much for anyone else who finds themselves watching it.
What it does offer alongside the unoriginal romantic storyline is lots of simple humour which unfortunately far too often veers towards being corny. We get plenty of Mia being clumsy, from knocking things over to almost hitting people as she learns to shoot a flaming arrow but none of it is anything more than obvious. And all the humour surrounding Julie Andrews as Queen Clarisse often ends up being too corny especially a certain mattress surfing scene.
The thing is that for the target audience "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" works, it looks good, has inoffensive humour and whilst a cliche a sweet romantic storyline is just right. But it does mean that there is very little for anyone who isn't a young girl to enjoy. Having said that there are a couple of things one of which is the brief cameo from Stan Lee which I am still left wondering how he ended up in the movie and the other is an early role for Abigail Breslin. But beyond these two casting surprises the rest of the acting is solid but unremarkable with the likes of Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews, Chris Pine and Hector Elizondo doing a solid job.
What this all boils down to is that "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" is on par with the first movie, providing some inoffensive fairytale entertainment for young girls but offering little for anyone not in the target demographic.