Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Marianne had posted about Luke Malby, an actor who starred in the movie The Prince and Me. Since I'm writing a prince story, I thought this would be a great movie to watch to put me in a royal mood so to speak.
Please note, there will be spoilers so stop reading now if you don't want to know any more about the movie.
The other night, hubby and I put the kids to bed and put in the DVD. I told him it was a chick flick that I wanted to watch for research. He said that was okay. We settled back on the couch ready to be entertained.
I know many love this movie. I wanted to like it, but it just didn't work for me. Hubby, either.
First off, when I was at Stanford, the prince of Belgium was there getting his masters degree, so the whole prince going to college did not feel new or fresh to me. Add in Prince Edvard's motivation to go to college in the US--to see women take off their shirts--and it just didn't work for me. Rather, it made the prince seem to have the maturity level of a fourteen year old boy. Sure, I could totally buy his wanting to race fast cars and kiss women. What guy wouldn't? But given that many beaches in Europe are topless, I don't know why he just didn't fly down to the south of France for a few days instead of enrolling in a college in Wisconsin.
Still I loved Prince Edvard.
Luke Malby is totally crush worthy and redeems himself from his mammary infatuation rather quickly. He is totally charming as a stranger in a strange land of cheeseheads and dorm roommates. When cutoff from his money, he first asks his manservant, Soren, a great character, for his money, then gets a job even though he has no idea what he's doing.
Eddy's love for Paige is the catalyst for his change from boy to man, prince to king. When he threatens his parents that he not to become king if he can't marry Paige, you believe him. He's become a better person by the end of the movie. His character growth is clear and consistent.
The heroine, Paige, is a character many romance writers have used in books. So driven and focused on a life plan for her future that she's missing out on life now. That worked for me. Her character arc didn't. And because of that I could not believe these two would ever live happily ever after. That's what ruined the movie for me.
At the climax of the movie, Paige decides for no reason that I can see other than staring at a globe that her dream of being a doctor and traveling the world is more important than her love for Eddy. There is nothing to motivate this decision. All the while, you think she's grown enough as an individual (her flying to Denmark with her girlfriends all using their credit cards to pay for the trip is great) to see that what's most important in life is love. But no, what's most important to Paige are her dreams, not a man who was willing to give up the throne for her. Also for someone who was supposed to be so smart, it was surprising she gave no thought whatsoever that as Queen of Denmark she could do a whole lot more for Doctors without Borders than as an MD herself.
If you watch the deleted scenes, you do get more of an idea of why she made the choice she did. At least two of those scenes should have been in the movie. Still, Paige wasn't willing to make any sacrifices, and this was a big downfall of the movie to me. If you watch the deleted scenes, you realize that her graduation day is the same as Denmark's constitution day, so when Eddy shows up it's a big sacrifice for him to be there. Of course, this made his love for her feel even more lopsided to me, and just reinforced my belief of no happy ending there. I'm not even going to discuss the alternate unhappy ending.
One other thing. Hubby and I both had problems understanding the time passage during the movie. Thanksgiving was mentioned. I was thinking semester finals were in January when Eddy leaves, but it was always sunny. I thought it snowed in Wisconsin. Maybe that's just during Packer playoff games. So perhaps Eddy left at the end of the school year instead. Still Paige was in Belgium for two weeks. Why would graduation be delayed so long after finals? Maybe I'm too analytical, but questions like these pull me right out of movies and books and make them less enjoyable to me. (And in case you're wondering, I do drive my critique partner crazy with stuff like this!)
I don't mean to be harping on The Prince and Me. It was an okay movie. There were some laughs (the xbox roommate is funny) and nice, sweet scenes. I enjoyed the prince watching her dance and falling in love with her. The look on his face matches the words in the song so well. The scenes with her family during a Thanksgiving visit were fun. And what female wouldn't love to try on all those crown jewels in the safe! But I needed to believe in the HEA. That's my payoff with movies like this. (Books, too!) I think the movie could have been a lot better in that regard.
Did you see The Prince and Me? What did you think?