Monday, December 3, 2018

A Christmas Prince (2017)

Number Rolled: 44
Movie Name/Year: A Christmas Prince (2017)
Tagline: None
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Length: 92 minutes
Rating: TV-PG
Production Companies: Motion Picture Corporation of America (MPCA)
Producer: Nate Atkins, Alexandru Balta, Vince Balzano, Cristian Bostanescu, Mickey Gooch, Eric Jarboe, Amy Krell, Brad Krevoy, Carolyn McLeod, Amanda Phillips Atkins, Jimmy Townsend
Director: Alex Zamm
Writer: Karen Schaler, Nate Atkins
Actors: Rose McIver, Ben Lamb, Alice Krige, Honor Kneafsey, Sarah Douglas, Emma Louise Saunders, Theo Devaney, Daniel Fathers, Tahirah Sharif, Amy Marston, Joel McVeagh, Tom Knight, Richard Ashton

Blurb from Netflix: Christmas comes early for an aspiring young journalist when she’s sent abroad to get the scoop on a dashing prince who’s poised to be king.

Selina’s Point of View:
If this film was any more paint-by-numbers you would actually see the lines and numbering in the scenes.

Seriously, I feel like I’ve seen A Christmas Prince a thousand times… and done a lot better. It incorporated every single piece of trope that you could ever expect from a rom-com project involving a prince and a civilian.

The writing was just incredibly lazy and, despite the name, I really didn’t get much of a Christmas feel from it. There was some snow and some decoration, but nothing even remotely reminiscent of what I’d want to see in a film representing the holidays.

For a random note, some of the music felt like it was trying to call back to The Karate Kid Part II (1986) – which does not fit the theme they were going for at all.

It was just about as basic as it comes.

This December, Trust the Dice will be looking at some of the Christmas movies available on Netflix. Our schedule will shift to the Monday/Wednesday/Friday variety until the new year.

Cat’s Point of View:

I have to say that this movie was not at all what I expected - and it’s fabulous!

As we focus this month on films fitting for the holiday season, I had a bit of an inward groan when this one came up first. I had no specific initial bias against the production – it just seemed like it would be another fluffy romance to blend in with the scores airing constantly on the Lifetime Channel.

There’s that old saying about books and covers. I know better, but still can’t help but fall into that trap on occasion.

I can’t tell you that this romantic dramedy doesn’t follow some of the tried and true recipes for the genre. What I can tell you is that while I was swept up into the story, I didn’t care.

There’s such a modern-day fairytale quality about the film. The gorgeous setting, endearing characters, and caliber of performances add up to an experience that far outweighs any predictability the story experiences.

Seriously. I have a new place to visit for my bucket list. The dazzling and picturesque castle where a good deal of the movie takes place is the real deal. The Peles Castle in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania could have been plucked right out of my dreams. This was certainly no model given CGI polish.

Those responsible for casting this cinematic gem should certainly be applauded. Aside from leads, Rose McIver (The Lovely Bones, Predicament, Once Upon A Time) and Ben Lamb (The White Queen, Now You See Me 2, Knightfall), and their believable chemistry; I’d have to say that my favorite character is actually the young Princess Emily – played by Honor Kneafsey (Miss You Already, Butterfly Kisses, Crooked House).

One of the best things about this story is that I am excited to watch it with my daughter. I think she’ll really get a kick out of it, and I’m certainly planning to give it another watch very soon. Aside from the fun part, there are more layers to the story than that.

This is going to be a bit of a hard year for our family. This will be our first Christmas without my late mother-in-law. I think there are some important and meaningful points about processing loss during the Holidays here too.

All told, this film certainly has my ringing endorsement – whether you’re looking for a film to cozy up with during the Holidays or any time. 

Speech Available: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish
Subtitles Available: French, English, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 75%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 51%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – 7.0/10
IMDB Score – 5.7/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating2.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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