Friday, December 10, 2021

'Tis the Season - The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star (2021)



Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star (2021)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Length: 106 minutes
Rating: TV-PG
Production/Distribution: Motion Picture Corporation of America (MPCA), Netflix
Director: Mike Rohl
Writer: Robin Bernheim, Megan Metzger
Actors: Vanessa Hudgens, Remy Hii, Sam Palladio, Nick Sagar, Amanda Donohoe, Florence Hall, Ricky Norwood, Suanne Braun, Mark Fleischmann, Will Kemp, Hazel Beattie, Maia Karelyn Swandi, Eden Gough, Jayda Eyles
 
Blurb from IMDb: When a priceless relic is stolen, Queen Margaret and Princess Stacy enlist the help of Margaret's cousin Fiona teams with a man from her past to retrieve it, with romance and resulting in a very unexpected switch.
 

Selina’s Point of View:
I was not looking forward to The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star. Although I found the first of the series to be a cute, if basic, Christmas watch – the second flick did not impress me. After that, I didn’t even have mediocre hopes for this one, and I was right.
 
The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star was awful.
 
After sitting through a completely unnecessary recap of the first two films, there was a bit of narration and then a nearly 2-hour display of some of the worst, campiest, acting any of the people involved has ever put forth.
 
Now, granted, the typical Christmas movies aren’t exactly known for the acting. People just don’t watch for that. They’re watching for the magic and the happy ending. They want to see something that boosts the hope that there’s good in the world. That, even if everything is the worst, something about Christmas will help make things better. I understand that. It’s kind of what I want from a holiday film, as well. Even without taking the acting into account, though, I don’t think The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star delivers on that.
 
There are some parts trying to force the audience into forgiving, and rooting for, the villain of the last flick. The movie created a ‘poor me’ background for her and rests on the belief that we’ll instantly sympathize. It’s not that successful.
 

However, I will say that there is no part of me that understands why every film I watch takes the side of a neglectful parent. Almost any media that has a parent return to their child’s life as an adult, looking for forgiveness, will side with the idea that the parent deserves that forgiveness.
 
Let me tell you how I see it.
 
The creators of these movies insist that a child, one that has been abused or neglected during their formative years, is responsible for forgiving a grown-ass adult for hurting them in a way that changes their life’s trajectory. No. You do not owe forgiveness to someone that’s hurt you. Regardless of who they are. Do what makes you healthiest. Even, or maybe especially, during the holidays. If you feel like no one supports your choice – I do.
 
That’s all beside the point.
 
Even without that part of the story, I was not impressed with The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star. I officially hate this series.
 

Cat’s Point of View:
Ok, so we all knew what to expect with A Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star. We’ve done this twice already, so 3rd time’s the charm, right? This third installment of holiday-themed royal doppelganger shell games rounds out a solid trilogy. Just when you think that everyone has switched places in as many ways as they possibly could by #2, A Princess Switch 3 asks us to hold its bubbly to take us on another improbably crazy romp through picture-perfect Christmas landscapes. The 3rd installment also takes the ‘cape’ and turns it into a caper.
 
I know, I know… I couldn’t resist. I digress…
 
I’ll be honest. A Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star did offer something new, as it delved into the backstory of the look-alike cousin introduced in the 2nd movie. I was, admittedly, curious as to what made her tick. Was there more to her than her seemingly vapid exterior? This flick provides a nice and tidy answer to such questions, and then some.
 
It’s clear that the cast has a lot of fun making these movies. The same creative team has returned for both sequels, after all. In fact, Vanessa Hudgens (Polar, The Knight Before Christmas, Bad Boys for Life) has been a producer for this new film, as well as the first sequel. That’s a solid indication of either a labor of love or faith in the franchise.
 

Tuning in for this 3rd installment felt warm and familiar. Nick Sagar (Queen of the South, Shadowhunters, Run the World) and Sam Palladino (Strange Magic, Nashville, Rebel) mesh well alongside their versions of Hudgens’ trifecta of characters.
 
I really had no illusions that this would step out of the box, and I was pretty sure I had the plot pegged from early in the production. Remy Hii (Marco Polo, 2:22, Spider-Man: Far from Home) was a welcome addition to the ensemble. I appreciated that he was given more layers than your typical character that gets thrown into a series a few sequels in.
 
While predictable, this film was entertaining. I’ve been sick for the past couple of weeks, so it was refreshing to watch A Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star. I could just turn off my brain and settle in with my hot honeyed tea.
 
While this fantasy confection remains loaded with the typical recipe of Christmas clich├ęs, if you enjoyed the first 2 movies, you’ll likely fall in love with this third installment. Of course, if the first two weren’t your own cup of proverbial tea, that should inform your viewing decision as well.
 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 42%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 46%
Metascore – None
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.5/10
 
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating 1/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3.5/5
 
P.S. Short in-character dance scenes during the credits.
 
Movie Trailer:

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