Netflix’s 2017 entry into the genre of Christmas films is everything you need something in this genre to be. But that’s not a good thing. A Christmas Prince features every cliché in the book. It’s overly family-friendly and tries to pluck your heartstrings while wearing the mitts you use to pull a tray of Christmas Tree cookies out of the oven.
The film stars Rose McIver, a New Zealand actress that has a bit of cred to her after appearing in a lot of TV Shows, most notably iZombie where she has the lead role, as Amber Moore, a junior editor and aspiring journalist who is (for some reason) chosen to cover a possible royal scandal in Aldovia. Aldovia is pretty much Denmark where everyone speaks with a British accent, I’m not exactly sure where this fictional country is on the map, but who cares, the writers of this film sure don’t. The scandal involves the prince who is expected to pick up the crown after his father passed away, but the prince seems reluctant (WHY??? It’s more than just nerves). Anyway, after a press conference gets canceled and all the other reporters give up and go home, Amber sneaks into the castle and is mistaken for the new tutor for the young princess. It’s 2017 and Aldovia seems to have never heard of background checks. So we have a reporter looking for a scoop who is lying about who she is to get closer to the Prince. I bet they don’t fall in love before she is outed as a fraud.
I’m going to take a point here to cover the parts that made me say (out loud in some parts) “Oh, of course, this is what we’re doing”. The young princess (Emily played by Honor Kneafsey) has spina bifida and everyone misunderstands her, treats her like a ‘china doll’, and sees her as a spoilt rich girl when all she wants to do is go out and play. Prince Richard (Ben Lamb) is also misunderstood. Everybody sees him as a playboy and a philanderer but all he wants to do is archery and have snowball fights. But you see Amber gets that and she sees these people as they really are. Then there’s the evil cousin who wants the throne who forms an evil partnership of evil with a spoilt former flame of Richard’s who also just wants the crown.
All this comes together at the Christmas Eve Ball (of course there’s a ball) which also doubles as the coronation (because, why not?). There’s a Cinderella moment where Amber is given a make-over to look pretty much the same that she has for the whole film. But the juicy scandal comes out at the perfect time. As the Prime Minister recites the coronation proceedings (which are more like wedding vows then how an actual coronation goes) when he gets to the part that says something along the lines of “If anyone here has a dispute to Richard’s claim on the throne, speak now or forever hold your peace” (see? not a real coronation) the bad guys reveal that they had been snooping in Amber’s stuff and reveal that the Prince is not who he says he is.
You should watch this though to see the joke of a storyline it is and look while it’s clichéd, many could argue that it is a good Christmas film. It invokes the spirit of Christmas and Fairy Tales like Cinderella but it’s just so corny. A Christmas Prince is cheesy, sappy and super by-the-numbers but because it’s a Christmas film, it’s going to get a pass from a lot of people. But from me…
A Christmas Prince: Below Average