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.
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Christmas films have a tendency to skirt the bottom of the barrel, and “A Christmas Prince”, while not offensive, is more than happy to bottom feed on holiday movie clichés.
In a riff on “Princess Diaries” and “Beauty and the Beast” (among others), Rose McIver plays Amber, a “talented, hungry and smart” New York journalist stuck editing other writers’ work. What she really desires is to get out there and start putting together her own stories and things start to look up when she’s sent over to Europe on royal reporting duties.
Prince Richard of Aldovia (really) is set to succeed his deceased father, but, in keeping with his bad boy reputation in the tabloids, Richard (Ben Lamb) is a no-show. However, being the plucky journalist she is, Amber sneaks into the palace under the guise of Richard’s younger sister Princess Emily’s (Honor Kneafsey) new tutor and the Prince starts to develop affection for the new help.
Aldovia (well Romania, in reality) has some admittedly lovely snowy scenery, but the kingdom looks far better than it sounds, as every Aldovian speaks with painfully English accents. That’s in contrast to “American” lines like “his royal hotness”, of course. These are all delivered by a bunch of semi-to-no-name actors. Lamb is particularly wooden and sounds laughably like Rupert Everett’s (parodic) Prince Charming from the “Shrek” films. Young Kneafsey is the only one who comes out of this well.
“It’s a puff piece, […] pure schmaltz.” That’s Amber’s editor’s (Amy Marston, giving a hilariously bizarre performance) assessment of the finished article and it’s a fitting description of the whole film. “A Christmas Prince” is a cheese fest, but it knows it. This one wasn’t for me, but it might satisfying that Christmas film itch when you’ve exhausted Netflix’s best holiday offerings.
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