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The Prince and Me (PG)



Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: One

IN REAL-life, Denmark's Crown Prince Frederik, once considered to be the world's most eligible bachelor, recently tied the knot with Australian businesswoman, Mary Donaldson, in a ceremony attended by hundreds of the world's royals.

The union marked something of a fairy-tale come true for Donaldson, who met the prince four years ago, at a bar, during the Sydney Olympics.

Sadly, the fairy-tale becomes a nightmare for anyone who goes to see the film inspired by these events, which has to rate among the worst examples of Hollywood's penchant for sugar-coated overload.

The Prince and Me isn't so much bad, as terrible - a romantic comedy that consistently fails to generate laughs, or chemistry, which also attempts to be much more clever than it really is.

Not even the charisma of its leading lady, Julia Stiles, can save it from the overlong bore it becomes, due to its laborious pacing and cliché-ridden script.

The film tells the story of university student, and doctor-in-waiting, Paige Morgan (Stiles), who vows to let nothing stand in the way of her dream career, until she meets and unwittingly falls in love with Luke Mably’s Eddie, a Danish student attempting to chance his luck with the American ladies.

Unbeknown to Paige, however, Eddie is actually Edvard Valdemar, the Crown Prince of Denmark, who is reluctant to accept his destiny, and who has travelled to the US in search of fast cars and even faster ladies.

 

The two initially despise each other, but slowly begin to form a begrudging respect, so that by the time his identity becomes revealed by a chasing pack of royal photographers, both are forced to come to terms with their feelings for each other, and the sacrifices a relationship may entail.

The Prince and Me is directed by Sex In The City helmer, Martha Coolidge, and features a cameo from another of the world's most infamous playboys, Eddie Irvine, which, you would have thought, may have spiced things up a little.

Sadly, in its desire to appeal to the pre-teen market, the film has been saddled with a PG certificate and is as sickly sweet an affair as you could possibly hope to avoid. Had it treated its audience more as grown-ups, it may have fared better.

As it is, audiences are forced to endure a series of hopelessly contrived scenarios, all of which are sign-posted miles in advance, and which come complete with virtually a groan a scene.

Stiles makes the most of her insipid role and actually turns in a far better performance than her material justifies, but not even she can make her relationship with Mably's Eddie seem believable, given his bland turn as a charisma-free playboy, who can't seem to decide on which accent to keep (be it English or Danish).

Ben Miller crops up as a servant with a penchant for delivering dead-pan lines, while Edward Fox and Miranda Richardson go through the motions as royalty, but the overall feeling is best summed up by the look of constant disbelief etched on Miller’s face - which frequently borders on disdain.

If fairy-tales are really your thing, then stick to re-runs of CNN's news coverage of the real Prince Frederik's big day, rather than wasting your time on this turgid nonsense.

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