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The Christmas countdown is officially on, and with the cold weather setting in and Yule logs and mince pies coming into the shops, we’re feeling more festive than ever.
Now all we need is a new Christmas film to obsess over with a mug of mulled wine, and last week, that is exactly what we got – thank you, Netflix.
The Princess Switch, released last Friday, is this year’s answer to A Christmas Prince, and let’s just say it doesn’t disappoint.
Vanessa Hudgens plays the two leads in this Parent Trap esque flick, involving a European Duchess switching places with an ordinary baker from Chicago, who looks identical to her, just one week before Christmas. Inevitably they fall in love with each other’s partners, want each other’s lives and somehow everything ties together perfectly in the end.
I’m not going to lie, there are a few gaping plot holes and I can’t pretend that I understood everything. Why didn’t Stacy report that her blender had been sabotaged and get a new one? Why was the strange old man that kept popping up everywhere to deliver wise quotes never explained? And HOW did the butler Frank De Luca survive that almighty fall off the bridge?
And yet, I loved it.
The film has proved to be pretty divisive, but in this writer’s opinion, it’s all pretty unfair.
There’s no point in comparing it to an Academy award winning film because it never pretended to be one – it’s set in a make-believe European country and packed with cliché quotes about Christmas wishes, orphans wanting to be princesses (Hello Princess Diaries 2), fake snow ball fights and makeover musical montage scenes.
Let’s call a spade a spade. It’s the perfect winter film – especially if you’re an over-worked stressed out millennial who just wants to switch off and feel festive.
Sure, if you’re a film buff whose highlight of Christmas is dissecting the artistic camera work of It’s A Wonderful Life, then give this a miss. But if you tend to like films that score less than a 6.3/10 on IMDb and you feel like putting your feet up, this is a must-see.
Here’s why The Princess Switch is well worth a watch…
1. Lady Margaret Delacourt’s wardrobe:
The Duchess of Montenaro is impeccably dressed, and the scene where Stacy explores her wardrobe for the first time rivals Carrie Bradshaw‘s SATC big wardrobe reveal. We’re talking Blair Warldorf style berets, Camilla Mendes esque mini skirts and some serious Jackie O inspired tailoring. And don’t even get us started on the red and gold ballgown that she wore to the royal dance – that is reason enough to watch.
2. Robin Soans’ multiple cameos
The big unanswered question from The Princess Switch has to be the identity of the wise old man (played by Robin Soans), who turned up everywhere (even within the palace walls) to deliver some much needed Christmas wisdom. We assume of course that he is a sort of modern day fairy godmother, but still – why doesn’t the character have anything better to do?! How does he know everything?! And did he literally follow Stacy all the way from New York? There are so many questions and we really would have liked some reassurance Netflix. That being said, he did save the day on numerous occasions so we’ll let it slide.
3. Kevin the baker’s bod
Kevin the baker! Who knew that body was hiding under your apron? Well, Lady Margaret does now, but it’s safe to say we were all surprised and understandably, it is of course a highlight.
4. The hilarious British accents
Somehow the accents in the mythical European country of Belgravia (yes, Belgravia!!) are English, same with the country of Montenaro, where Duchess Margaret Delacourt comes from. Get ready for some very clipped old school Mary Poppins style accents. Let’s just say it’s in the same league as Gossip Girl‘s Lord Marcus Beaton.
5. That moment of Inception
In one particular scene, Lady Margaret posing as Stacy and Kevin from The Princess Switch sit down to watch a Christmas film, scrolling past A Christmas Inheritance, before landing on A Christmas Prince. Yes, really. The characters in a Netflix original Christmas film just watched another Netflix original Christmas film. What is real life? We don’t know anymore.
6. The Meghan Markle effect
Did anyone else think that Stacy as Lady Margaret had elements of Meghan Markle about her? A feminist royal who wanted to have a hands-on approach in terms of official events, and despite being a high profile princess-to-be, insisted on being heard, not just seen. Just saying – we loved the millennial references.
7. The references to other chick flicks
Black Friday 2021
One thing that has really got viewers talking is the inspiration from other romantic comedies. There’s a dancing in a fairy-lit canopy scene that is almost identical to A Cinderella Story, a Parent Trap esque hair cutting scene and even a moment that mirrors a Princess Diaries 2 scene where an orphanage of children get to be princesses for the day. One scene that excited viewers the most however was when Kevin gave Margaret a locket, looking a lot like a High School Musical 2 scene (also starring Vanessa), where Troy gave Gabriella a necklace. Basically, The Princess Switch is an amalgamation of every single romantic comedy you’ve ever seen, and if that’s not reason enough to watch it, we don’t know what is.
Be right back – off to watch this again.