The Princess Switch: I Watched Netflix's So-Bad-It's-Good Christmas Movie So You Don't Have To

For those of you who've ever had a few too many glasses of spiked hot cocoa and found yourselves wondering what The Parent Trap would've been like if it was written by a Christmas-obsessed robot and also made zero sense, then you're in luck: Netflix's The Princess Switch is now streaming, and it's a real treat.

The latest in the streaming giant's collection of so-bad-they're-good holiday romancesA Christmas Prince, A Christmas Inheritance, the list (miraculously) goes on — stars Vanessa Hudgens as Chicago baker Stacy, who ends up meeting soon-to-be princess Lady Margaret who looks exactly like her (also played by Hudgens, of course). Naturally, the two decide to trade places (because duh), which results in a whole ton of cringe-worthy, nonsensical mischief.

To sum things up: nothing makes sense, the snow is very clearly fake, the forced British accents are brutal, and the plot includes a particularly dumb name for a fake country. However — HOWEVER — that's all part of the fun of watching these movies, right? Armed with a bottle of red wine, I decided that, despite my eyes rolling out of my head and onto the floor immediately after reading the premise, I needed to see what antics Stacy would get up to.


  • We first meet Stacy at her bakery in Chicago, which we know not from the setting, but because of her very obvious hat that has the word "Chicago" written on it in giant font.
  • It's established that she has a very hot, but kind of rude sous chef named Kevin (Nick Sagar), who she's known since high school, and is also a single dad to a precocious, ballet-obsessed little girl named Olivia (Alexa Adeosun).
  • Kevin reveals he's secretly signed Stacy up for a royal baking competition in the European country of Belgravia, which will happen over the course of one weekend and she'll need to leave for on the spot to attend. Stacy, realistically, is like "Uh, that's flattering and all, but I don't have nearly enough time to prepare for this prestigious, televised competition and would rather not embarrass myself." Kevin's response is essentially, "Girl, you recently got dumped by the man you thought would be the love of your life, and ever since you've been SO lame, get over it already and take a chance, you big loser."
  • She, rightly, still says no, because she's a normal person with normal expectations about life.
  • But of course she ends up running into her obnoxious ex, Paul, with his new girlfriend shortly after chatting with Kevin, and she tells Paul that she's competing in the event in Belgravia to sound cool, which . . . I guess means she has to follow through on? Unfriend him on social media and call it a day, Stacy.
  • Smash-cut to an airplane landing in Belgravia — yes, yet another fictional royal country ending in "-via" thanks to The Princess Diaries' influence — and Stacy, Kevin, and Olivia romping through the picturesque village where they're staying for the next two days before the competition.
  • By "picturesque," I mean it's covered in fake snow and every building looks like it was purchased from the shed section of Home Depot.

  • So, Stacy De Novo — all the important characters in this universe refers to each other by their first and last names at all times, FYI — and Kevin head up to the competition space to set up. It's essentially a very sad Iron Chef set covered in fake birch trees and twinkly lights.
  • Kevin continues to make fun of Stacy for being so organized. ("Wow, you alphabetized the equipment list?" Uh, yeah Kevin, she did! She's the one who pays your salary! Give her a break, dude!)
  • It's there that we're introduced to the film's first "villain" (I put that in quotes because she . . . doesn't really do anything all that bad? But I digress) named Brianna Michaels, who won the same competition last year and isn't happy to see Stacy since they were rivals in culinary school (They attended Le Cordon Bleu, FYI). Fortunately, the interaction yields two hilariously dumb insults.
  • "What are you making for your pièce de résistance?" Brianna asks in the most sarcastic voice she can muster. "Cheetos à la mode?" DAMN.
  • Stacy hits back with a burn of her own: "Brianna was close to some of the faculty [at school] . . . Like when she sauced Professor Kendall's berries." OOF.
  • Brianna promptly dumps her coffee out on Stacy's apron. Coincidentally, I dumped a ton of wine down my throat during this same scene.

  • Before you ask, YES, it's at this point — 10 minutes and 30 seconds into the movie, if you're wondering — that Stacy meets her royal lookalike, Lady Margaret Delacourt. Margaret, who is engaged to Belgravia's Prince Edward and has never had a photo taken of her by the press (Apparently?! Meghan Markle is undoubtedly having her people dial Margaret's people as we speak), which is how this movie ingeniously (LOL) explains away how Stacy has never seen her before.
  • Margaret is set to tour the competition space, where she bumps into Stacy on her way to get a new apron. They stare at each other in shock.
  • . . . for all of two seconds, before they instantly decide to switch places.
  • OK, not instantly, but they're both remarkably chill about the fact they're twins — no calling their parents? Or the hospitals where they were delivered? Or discussing ANY conspiracy theories about being long-lost twins?!
  • Instead, Margaret's assistant, Mrs. Donatelli, says they're probably distantly related by a philandering relative, "Cousin Cecil," who moved to America in scandal way back when.
  • I kind of wish this movie was about Cousin Cecil now?
  • But, again, let me reiterate: Stacy and Margaret look EXACTLY alike. They are BOTH Vanessa Hudgens.
  • Like?!??!?!
  • Now that this complete suspension of reality, has been introduced, Stacy and Margaret agree to switch places for the next two days.
  • Why? Well because Margaret tells Stacy that she hates attention and royal life, and wants to live like a regular, shmegular, degular bakery owner from Chicago. As for Stacy? She would like the chance to bone a prince. (She also works out a deal so that Kevin's daughter, Liv, can attend a ballet school in Belgravia.)
  • REJOICE: a makeover montage begins!
  • But . . . it only lasts, like, 10 seconds? And is mostly of Stacy learning how to walk like Margaret? Because that's what would give her real identity away.
  • Please note that Stacy is also totally cool with chopping off all her hair to look more like Marge.
  • She also never once considers that her best friend of a decade, Kevin, will notice that she's been replaced by someone with zero of the same memories or cooking skills.
  • It also must be noted that in this scene, Margaret is essentially wearing a bright pink skirt suit from the '90s.
  • I'm not necessarily complaining about that, by the way, but royals have gotten with the times by now, no?

  • One of the first things Stacy-as-Margaret says to Prince Edward is: "I have a lazy eye. Not all the time, just when I get fatigued." Have I mentioned how close the dialogue in this movie has made me come to finishing this bottle of wine by myself?
  • On top of that bizarre saying, Stacy later makes up this phrase while riding with Edward: "A warm horse is a happy horse, and nothing is better than a happy horse." Yeah! Definitely heard that one before, girl!
  • Despite never having ridden a horse before, Stacy learns in approximately 30 seconds.
  • Although her riding outfit is — dare I say it — cute, the rest of Stacy-as-Margaret's looks are all in garish shades of pink and look like they were plucked from the sale bin at Filene's Basement two decades ago.
  • OH, wow, I totally forgot to mention the magical old man subplot going on, haven't I? While still in Chicago, Stacy bumps into an older gentleman who (Ominously?) tells her "Christmas wishes have been known to come true." She sees him selling Christmas stockings at the village in Belgravia later on, and he also pops up toward the end of the movie a few times. Do with that knowledge what you will, because I've truly had too much wine to consider how this plot point affects the story at this point.
  • Back to Edward: He's nice, for the most part, but frigid and traditional. Good thing our gal from Chicago is ready to thaw him out! Wink, wink!

  • I must say: Stacy-as-Margaret's deep red gown for the charity ball is actually really pretty! Netflix has clearly upped their costume budget since A Christmas Prince.
  • Unfortunately it looks like their budget for extras has not increased, because there are approximately 15 people at this "ball," in total.
  • Dear God, this event is about as glamorous as my seventh grade birthday party, which was held in my unfinished basement.
  • Stacy and Edward sneak away from the "castle" for a romantic dance in a gazebo that looks like it was constructed out of balsa wood 10 minutes before the crew started shooting that scene.
  • There's also a cameo from a very fake-looking moon.
  • The gazebo dance was apparently enough to make both Stacy and frigid Edward fall in love!

  • Back to Margaret-as-Stacy! She's enjoying a life of normalcy, which includes burning pancakes and failing to pull off the secret handshake Stacy has with Olivia. Olivia sees through her schtick in all of 30 seconds
  • But you know who doesn't see through her? Kevin! I guess he's too busy critiquing successful women for not going with the flow enough to realize his best friend who he's secretly in love with has been replaced.
  • That's right — Kevin is in love with Stacy! He always has been! But she's always thought of him as "just Kevin." Now that she's Margaret, though, things are about to change.
  • You know why? Because ol' Marge catches a glimpse of Kevin's abs.

  • Shameless Netflix Promo Alert: Margaret and Kevin sit down on the couch to watch a cheesy Christmas movie — meta much? — and scroll through the streaming giant, where they settle on A Christmas Inheritance. This is exactly what happens in Netflix's other recent holiday rom-com, The Holiday Calendar! Is Netflix's marketing budget low this year, or . . .!?

  • After watching the movie, they make out in front of the fireplace. Because they're both suddenly in love!
  • Except as soon as they're done kissing, Margaret physically shoves Kevin away and is all, "Pretend this never happened." Because she's too scared of her feelings, you know?
  • As a reminder, this movie is supposedly taking place over just two days.
  • Also, as a reminder, I'm almost at the end of my bottle of wine. Will I have to run to the liquor store to get more? Stay tuned.

  • Stacy and Margaret switch back so that Stacy can bake at the competition. They both admit they've fallen in love with the men in each others' lives.
  • As all this has been going on, Prince Edward's father has ordered his assistant, Frank (Mark Fleischmann), to investigate Margaret because she's been "acting different" lately. After many, many hilarious failures, he nabs a photo of Stacy and Margaret in the same room together, and shows the proof to Edward's kindhearted mother, Queen Caroline. Will she ruin everything?!
  • The baking competition arrives! It's just as hokey as you'd expect, but with a twist — Brianna (Remember her?!) decides to sneak into the room the night before to snip the cord to Stacy's mixer.
  • Oh, sorry, that's not the twist! The twist is that Stacy and Kevin are able to bake a six-layer cake masterpiece without their mixer, somehow. Stacy doesn't even realize that she's been f*cked with until she needs to "puree the berries." There are no berries on their finished cake though?! WHAT IS HAPPENING IN BELGRAVIA?!
  • The judges come by the table and give a detailed critique of Stacey and Kevin's cake, even though they clearly put their slices back on the table without having taken a single bite. Not even a nibble.
  • But who cares, because they win the competition!
  • Kevin never once realizes that Stacy wasn't herself all that time.
  • It's not until Prince Edward rolls up to present the trophy with Margaret — dun, dun, dunnnn! — that it's all revealed. Kevin appropriately freaks out for, oh, I don't know, three seconds? And then decides it's totally cool that his BFF/love interest has a secret twin, and he doesn't need to ask any questions.
  • Prince Edward must feel the same, because he proposes to Stacy!

  • Which brings us, blessedly, to the end of this movie, which jumps forward a year later.
  • Stacy and Prince Edward get married!
  • Margaret catches her bouquet and hints she and Kevin are going to get married soon, too!
  • Liv makes a few more cutesy one-liners!
  • And I officially am out of wine, and in desperate need of an episode of Schitt's Creek to forget that this hour and a half of my life is gone forever.
  • But also . . . please make a sequel, Netflix. PLEASE.