Michael Rohl has done it again and directed another amazing film. The plot is very entertaining, there is not a moment that makes the viewer want to look away. The plot has clearly been thought out as there are moments that would have been confusing for viewers not paying attention.
Nevertheless, the plot is entertaining with many funny moments from Vanessa Hudgens and many beautifully regal aspects, such as the costume design and setting. Vanessa Hudgens is an amazing actress and it really shows in this film as she acts three different characters and is able to make them completely unalike. However, as much as the plot is enjoyable, it is also quite predictable, which takes away the surprise of not knowing what will happen. There are also a few cheesy scenes which may lead to a few shudders from the viewers.
The first film was the first time Stacey and Margaret swap places as Margaret wants to have a taste of what it is like being normal. Whilst doing so, Stacey falls in love with Prince Edward when she sees the man behind the Prince title. Similarly, Margaret falls for Stacey’s friend, Kevin, when she does ‘normal’ things with him and his daughter, Olivia. When the swap plot gets revealed, we see Prince Edward propose to Stacey at the baking competition.
Fast forward a year, the viewers are taken to Montenaro for Duchess Margaret’s coronation. The main characters from the first film, Stacey, Prince Richard, Kevin and Olivia, go to attend Margaret’s coronation and try to get Kevin and Margaret to come together again. However, a new arrival meddles in Stacey’s plan to execute another switch, Margaret’s cousin, Fiona (the third Hudgens character). After Fiona’s dramatic entrance, chaos ensues including Fiona wanting the throne, Stacey being kidnapped and Kevin flying home early.
First and foremost, the acting is astounding. Hudgens plays three characters and astonishingly portrays them completely differently, with their contrasting personalities. The first of her characters is Princess Stacey DeNovo, a Chicago-born baker who married Prince Edward in The Princess Switch (2018). It is pleasant to see that Hudgens does not play Stacey differently after they became royalty.
The kindness, optimism and generosity that shines out of Stacey keeps the character quite realistic and fun to watch. Stacey also has a fair share of funny moments, such as awkwardly waffling about her grandma’s love for tinsel after walking into a rather romantic moment between Margaret and her Chief of Staff, Antonio. For a cliché American romance, these moments are actually humorous and will make viewers laugh.
The second character Hudgens plays is Duchess Margaret of Montenaro. This character is the complete opposite of Stacey, she has an extremely posh British accent for starters. As mentioned earlier, the Duchess’s personality is unlike DeNovo’s as it is clear the Duchess is more “spontaneous” and doesn’t take herself as seriously.
In this film, the focus is on the Duchess’s life and her relationship with Kevin, with many romantic scenes between the two of them. It is fascinating to see a more regal side to the character and see her as the ruler she is because viewers never really got to see this side of the Duchess in the first film.
Another essential part of the film is that there is a new character, also played by Vanessa Hudgens, Fiona, Margaret’s cousin. This Hudgens character added a twist to the film and showed the viewers a different side to Vanessa’s acting. Instead of being the good and pure character like Stacey and Margaret, Fiona has an evil streak and their personality differs as she is arrogant, manipulative and wickedly ambitious. Viewers see this when Fiona attempts to take Margaret’s throne.
It is almost refreshing to have a villainous static character in a romance comedy as it adds a conflict that keeps the plot enthralling and a gripping worry for the main characters. However, Fiona provides a stark contrast to Stacey and Margaret which emphasises the Princess’s and Duchess’s good personalities and makes them more likeable characters.
Furthermore, the setting is completely new as the film is set in Montenaro instead of Belgravia. The palace looks gloriously regal, almost like Buckingham Palace, with windows covering the front of the building and guards stationed at the entrance like the Queen’s Guard. The inside is disappointingly empty at first glance, very much a blank canvas. However, both royal parties decorate it with lavish Christmas decorations, like the viewers are unravelling Montenaro alongside the characters. Once the foyer is covered with reds, greens and gold, that is when the Christmas feeling hits. This beautiful setting gives Margaret and her reign a greater ambience.
However, as much as the plot is entertaining, it is very predictable. Yes, it is a family film, so the plot cannot be too intricate so that all ages can understand it. Nonetheless, overtime “entertaining” may become tedious, as the plot follows a typical romantic comedy of the story leading to a confusing chaotic moment that will all be resolved by the main protagonist(s).
Another problem with the film is that there are few cheesy scenes, such as a bag of flour coincidently falling onto Kevin and a flour fight happening between Margret and Kevin in the kitchen is a typical cringey, cliche movie scene. The thing with a cliché is that they have been done before, which makes them repetitive.
As much as scenes like that are cringey, the amazing acting, beautiful scenery and the explosive addition of a third character surpasses that. Despite the film getting a lower rating on IMDB than its previous film, it is definitely worth the watch and the perfect film to get those in the mood for Christmas and romance.