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The Prince & Me

Starring Julia Stiles; Luke Mably, Ben Miller, James Fox, Miranda Richardson
Screenplay by Jack Amiel & Michael Begler and Katherine Fugate; story by Mark Amin and Katherine Fugate
Directed by Martha Coolidge

IN SHORT: For 14 year old teen girls. [Rated PG for some sex-related material and language. 111 minutes]

That demographic target includes our nieces, who will plant for The Prince & Me on Friday and then, on Saturday, will tell (her) beloved uncle to get stuffed. We are coming into a whole run of films so specifically targeted at certain demographics that those of us on the outside can only look to form while we squirm in our seats. As to form, everything about The Prince & Me is right by the book. The characters have sufficient background that they're not flat cartoons and the plot points hit their reversal points right on the money, with at least one surprise that, uh, caught us by surprise.

Paige Morgan (Julia Stiles) is a brilliant, and brilliantly focused, student of medical science. When first we meet, her eye is affixed to the eyepiece of a microscope and dreams of a five year stint at Johns Hopkins are doing a major dance in her head. She's worked her tail off to get where she's got, and is not thrilled that her new lab partner is much better looking than he is smart. His name is Eddie and his european accent is the key to most of the doors of all the single women on campus -- the movie viewing audience already knows this, since Eddie aka Prince Edvard Valdemar Dangaard of Denmark (Luke Mably) is front page fodder for all the tabloids in Europe. Eddie has come to America, so to speak, in search of new conquests and, perhaps, a bride. His ascension to the throne of Denmark is just a few years off, as the film begins, though that timetable will be radically changed about an endless hour or so in to The Prince & Me. In tow is his man servant, Soren (Ben Miller), and while the film does a little dance around his presence, it keeps its demo target firmly in mind -- more specifically the wallets of the parents paying for the tickets as well. Any older teen that plants will get the solo gay joke. Those who've just had the birds and bees talk probably won't even notice.

The back end of the film, mixing pomp and pageantry with fantabulous locations and sets is where we woke up. More to the point, the appearance of the parents royal -- King Haraald (James Fox) and Queen Rosalind (Miranda Richardson) -- brought this less than average story up a couple of notches. The Queen, as you might guess, is decidedly against the pairing. Her reasons are, as as you might night guess, have nothing to do with anti-Americanism or anything to do with snooty royalty and class distinctions. Rosalind's reason is the one surprise we mentioned above, which is why we're not spilling it.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Prince & Me, he would have paid . . .


Demographics aside, The Prince & Me is a drag of a by the book formulaic movie. This week has a whole slew of formulaics for both sexes. Park the girl kids at this one.

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