When it comes to watching cheesy romance movies, I like to think my tolerance is fairly high. Sure, I cherish Never Been Kissed and Bridget Jones's Diary, but I also have a soft spot for . . . Beauty and the Briefcase. And From Prada to Nada. Oh, and Pizza My Heart (YES, Pizza My Heart). There's something comforting about sinking into the couch and getting wrapped up in the pure fluff of these movies' romantic entanglements, and I won't apologize for it. Some people meditate or go for a run to let off steam; I like to watch B-list actors get themselves into relationship problems that would be solved in real life with a single text message.
That's why, upon spotting Netflix's new original holiday movie, A Christmas Prince — Note: not to be confused with My Christmas Prince or A Princess For Christmas — I was ready to shut off my brain and enjoy a Christmas movie about royalty with a Netflix budget. It stars iZombie's charming Rose McIver, as well as Ben Lamb, a British actor who I'd never heard of before, but who looked hot on Netflix's tiny thumbnail. I knew it would never measure up to Pizza My Heart (I'm telling you, just watch it), but my bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and I were ready to at least give it a shot. Were we disappointed? No, no, we were not. Although to be fair, it's hard for me to be disappointed by anything six glasses of wine deep.
The movie follows McIver's Amber, a reporter working for a magazine in New York City as a lowly "junior editor" (FYI, a junior editor is typically a more senior position at standard publications, but I digress) who gets the chance of a lifetime to go to . . . a press conference. OK, OK, the press conference is in Aldovia, a low-rent version of The Princess Diaries's Genovia, where her boss needs her to get the scoop on the tiny country's playboy prince (played by Lamb, who's set to take over the throne following his father's untimely death). Amber jets off to the "castle" (which may or may not be a resort in the Poconos), only to discover that the press conference has been called off. Kind of rude considering 50 journalists flew halfway around the world to be there, no? Fortunately it takes way more than that to stand in Amber's way.
She ends up sneaking into the castle (no security in the palace, naturally) and posing as a tutor for the prince's little sister (no vetting of the palace tutors, naturally). Undercover as "Martha," Amber grows close to both the princess and her handsome older brother (the thumbnail does not do him justice, to be honest). Some complications ensue since she's caught in the queen mother of all lies, which I won't spoil for you here. What I will spoil are a few choice highlights from A Christmas Prince, which somehow manages to be enjoyable despite making little to no sense and having approximately the same budget as the New Year's Eve "party" I threw in ninth grade. For four friends. In my basement.
ANYWAY. If the above synopsis hasn't convinced you that this instant classic is worth a watch, maybe these will:
- The beginning of the movie is supposed to take place in New York City, but there are very clear establishing shots of Chicago landmarks.
- I'm pretty sure one of the guards outside the palace door is a mannequin.
- A palace staff member (legitimately one of, like, two?) automatically assumes Amber is the new tutor without checking her ID.
- No one notices her taking photos of the prince and castle, despite her phone's flash sound being on.
- An establishing shot of the castle at night looks weirdly like a toy miniature. It's probably not, but . . . it's kind of weird that there's even room for me to speculate that it is, is all I'm saying.
- Amber breaks an extremely old, extremely valuable vase in front of the queen, but no one cares.
- Amber insists on wearing red Converse sneakers to all of the palace's fancy events.
- Which I guess aren't that fancy, because these are served at one of them?
- Amber leaves her computer password sitting out for anyone to find, despite the fact she's writing an exposé on the prince. Hmm.
- Her boss is zero percent shocked and/or worried when Amber tells her that she's pretending to be "Martha."
- Amber is attacked by wolves. Freakin' wolves.
Like I said, this movie is not very good while also being incredible. I hated every minute of it, and also prayed it would never end. Once you finish watching Pizza My Heart, check this out. And then watch Pizza My Heart again so you can forget you ever saw this.