September 01, 2004

Shouldn't It Be 'The Prince And I'?

I find that the best way to get through long, transatlantic flights, is to watch the movie-- because no matter what movie it is, it will occupy at least a sixth of your flying time. It also means, of course, that you're at the perverse and sadistic mercy of your airline's taste in movies.

Which is how I came to watch The Prince and Me today. It is, predictably enough, predictable; an awful, sugary romantic comedy that can't stop rubbing its own clitoris for long enough to realize that it's in full view of hundreds of people. It begins with a rather contrived juxtaposition of Julia Stiles driving to a wedding in a pick-up truck, and the Prince of Denmark drag-racing through the streets of Copenhagen (which have been closed off just for his Higness's amusement). It's clear from the start that Edvard (note the comically pronounced foreign name, thankfully shortened to 'Eddie' for most of the film) is meant to be a cross between James Dean and Prince William (the latter, especially, because the whole Danish royal family speak RP English that's as impeccable as it is inexplicable).

From then on, the plot follows a well-worn path: Prince wants to sow royal oats with unsuspecting American girls; Prince falls in love with bookwormish American girl; American girl hates Prince at first but warms to him for reasons unclear and ends up making out with him in a barn in Wisconsin; Prince wins tractor-racing competition; girl and Prince almost have sex in a library; girl discovers Prince is a Prince, becomes incensed that she's been lied to, and runs off into the rain; reconsiders after five minutes and flies to Denmark to marry Prince (it's sort of like Coming to America, but shit).

What is truly unfathomable is why the ordeal doesn't end there. But no, instead of just leaving us with the first happy ending, we are given half an hour of limp Cinderella story, with Ms Stiles swanning around Denmark and living the life of a queen-to-be. Slowly, she realizes that the life of a Queen is not one she wants, particularly-- she has her own goals and dreams (you go, girl!) that she must return to Wisconsin to pursue. So she breaks up with the Prince and leaves Denmark. For literally, about three of the most pointless minutes of screentime in the movie (which is really saying something). Then the Prince comes back to America to find her, feeds her some romantic mush along the lines of "Oh, go on," and she falls back into his arms again. The end (best line: "Chemistry is more than a class, you know-- and you two have it.")

The thing that really grates on my nerves is not just that the premise is so patently absurd, but that the movie takes itself so seriously. I have no problem with absurd movies-- I just saw Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, too, and I found it to be one of the most hilarious and enjoyable movies of the year, so far. But Dodgeball works, because it knows it's absurd, and it just all out goes for it.

Anyway. That's all for now. Check back tomorrow for some witty political satire! And more genital jokes! Woot!


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