It has a white Christmas, a doughy-eyed leading lady, a tall prince who lives in a castle, and 80 percent less drama than any reality tv show. This film is very much age appropriate and yet has the audacity to be 92 minutes long. I only sat through it for you.
The premise of the story centers around Amber (played by iZombie’s Rose McIver), a New York City tabloid copy editor, who gets sent to cover the successor to the Aldovian throne, playboy Prince Richard (Ben Lamb). I don’t know where Aldovia is, but the first two pages of Google says it only exist in young adult fiction and according to the movie the people there speak British English.
Amber arrives in Aldovia for the press conference but Prince Richard isn’t in attendance and the whole thing gets called off. With a hunger to prove her journalism chops, Amber manages to sneak back into the castle by going in through a side entrance. Crime must not exist in Aldovia because nobody stops her until after she is in the building. And when someone does, they mistake her for the American tutor due in two weeks. All this is happening right after a press conference, by the way.
The tutor is for the prince’s little sister who has spina bifida. The girl, Princess Emily (Honor Kneafsey), ends up liking Amber because she treats her as a normal kid as opposed to the royalty that she is or the limitation that she has. Princess Emily even keeps Amber’s secret after finding out that she is a journalist so she has leverage to get out of actual tutoring. This is a twist I didn’t see coming because I was expecting the bitter yet witty sibling to initiate all the drama.
The romantic set-up is cliché and convenient. Amber broke up with her ex over a year ago and Prince Richard’s been single for a year, as well. The two begin to fall for each other after a flirtatious snowball fight followed by a dangerous rescue.
In the background, though, the princes’ spotlight-loving ex and his jealousy ridden cousin are off to the side planning a scheme to get rid of Amber and ruin the prince’s happiness. Their chance opens wide open when they catch Amber slippin’. Amber must have forgotten that she was sleuthing under cover because she leaves her purse and sensitive information that relates to the legitimacy of Prince Richard’s succession sitting out in the open.
As any fairytale romance would end, the ratchet ex and jealous cousin out Amber, Richard and the Queen (Alice Krige) in order to steal the throne. I won’t tell you anymore; I don’t want to spoil too much of the movie. However, if you’ve watched your fair share of fairy tale romances, you already know how it’s going to end.
The best parts of this movie involve 60-something Alice Krige effortlessly pulling off scenes.
I was a bit surprised to see her in a such a film that is cookie cutter compared to her previous work in movies like “Silent Hill” and “Thor: The Dark World.” Nevertheless, Krige was a treat.
Despite some of my sarcasm, this film is what speaks to the fairytale fantasies of christmas lovers and romantics. It focuses on all that’s good with a slight shade towards people who encompass the worst human character flaws.
I give this film a thumbs down on Netflix but 5 out of 10 stars for PopBreak.