ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Prince of thieves
Stiles’ film steals your time
The Prince and Me
Starring: Julia Stiles, Luke Mably
Directed by: Martha Coolidge
By Claire Neary
Movie Web 2004
THE ONLY RIDING IN THE PRINCE AND ME IS PG-13. However, this horse would
be better suited to ride this romantic comedy (minus the comedy) right
off the silver screen.
Although The Prince and Me will inevitably be categorized as a “teen
romantic comedy,” the director forgot one important thing: romantic comedies
are supposed to be funny!
This movie is a perfect example of how a formulaic romantic comedy can go
wrong. The characters are shallow, the dialogue is painful and it’s about
an hour too long. And the film’s constant endorsement of Pepsi products
sticks out like an incredibly annoying sore thumb.
The entire premise of the film can be understood from the trailer, but for
the fortunate enough not to have seen it, here’s a brief summary.
Paige Morgan (Stiles) is a hard working pre-med student attending the University
of Wisconsin. While her friends are off getting married, getting drunk and
having sex in the school library, Paige wants to go to Johns Hopkins University
and join Doctors Without Borders. OK, so here’s a character university
students should be able to relate to.
Unfortunately, Paige’s one-dimensional character is developed through
uninspired dialogue and generic scenes of university life. Instead of revealing
characters through interesting or funny events, The Prince and Me insults the
intelligence of the audience by over-explaining everything with obvious, bland
In the first scene, we watch Paige rush to her friend’s wedding, only
to discover her only single friend is now wearing an engagement ring. Don’t
you hate it when that happens?
In another scene, she talks to her mom about how she doesn’t want to
fall in love because it might distract her from her studies. Poor Paige. She
obviously hasn’t seen enough generic romantic comedies to know that true
love conquers all — even university Shakespeare exams.
Enter gorgeous Edward (Mably), the rebellious Crown Prince of Denmark, to
stir things up in Paige’s life. Tired of having his whole life planned
out by his parents, poor, spoiled little Edward (who mysteriously has a British
accent) decides to take off to Wisconsin and change his name to Eddie for a
taste of college life.
The two meet at the bar where Paige works, and in one of the few marginally
funny scenes, she sprays Eddie with a bar hose to ward off his drunken advances.
As the two get to know each other in organic chemistry class (get it? They
have chemistry!), Paige tries to hate Eddie until he slowly — painstakingly
slowly — wins her over with his boyish good looks and rebellious princely
Unfortunately, neither Paige, nor Eddie, is particularly likable. Paige is
a geeky farm girl who needs to get out more, and Eddie is as shallow as he
is irritating. Stiles does a good job of blushing and acting independent, and
Mably sure looks good without his shirt on, but the script is doomed from the
beginning. Even characters who obviously have the potential to provide comic
relief, such as Eddie’s butler Soren and his fat, X-Box-playing roommate,
just aren’t funny.
Will Paige become Eddie’s Queen in Denmark, and give up her dreams of
becoming a doctor? Do you care? At two long hours, chances are slim you’ll
even be awake to find out.