This has to rank alongside Ice Princess as one of my favourite Teen Chick Flicks. I've owned the DVD for a few years now, and have watched this a fair few times - it's a great movie to watch when you're feeling a little low or just want something to chill out with that's light, bright and breezy.
A Few Facts
The film was made by Walt Disney and is rated as a U making it suitable for any age group to watch, but is aimed primarily at the girly pre-teen/teen market. It first appeared at the cinema back in 2001 is 1 hour and 51 minutes long making it fairly long for a U rated teen movie, and went over to DVD in 2002. It's based on the book of the same name written by Meg Cabot.
The DVD contains the film (obviously) along with a few deleted scenes, a featurette, audio commentaries, and a couple of music videos.
Mia Thermopolis is a 15yr old slightly geeky American teen. A little shy, a little gawky and terribly afraid of speaking out in public her main aim is to get through being 15 without embarrassing herself too much and hopefully getting her first 'foot popping' kiss too.
Brought up by her mum, when her paternal grandmother arrives in town and informs her that she's of royal blood, her life starts to change and in some pretty big ways. Mia finds herself taking 'princess lessons' learning how to sit, stand, talk and generally being made over. Initially furious and scared about the whole thing, and desperate to keep it quiet, Mia soon finds that it's not all bad, but she's got some really pretty massive decisions to make.
With the help of her best friends Mia has to cope with the school 'in crowd's jealousy, a media frenzy and a whole heap more before she makes her decision about whether to step up to the mark and BE a princess or not.
Characters & Acting
Mia Thermopolis is played by Anne Hathaway and when you bear in mind that this is her film debut she does a darn good job of playing this teenager as she makes her transformation from gawky to poised in this lovely light hearted modern fairytale. In fact the character transformation is wonderfully done and as we watch her learning to try and behave as a princess should we also see her transformed physically from bushy hair and thick rimmed glasses to sleek and glossy hair, contact lenses and better dress sense.
It was pleasing to see that Anne Hathaway managed to show us both sides of her character so well - the poise and grace being fairly obvious and by the look of it from later roles fairly easy for her - it was nice to see the down to earth awkwardness, shyness and at times over imaginative side of this character played so well too.
Caroline Goodall plays Mia's mother and gives us a mum who's a little bit quirky and who obviously believes in letting her daughter go her own way and learn from her own mistakes but at the same time she shows us a kind caring nurturing side when we learn that she walked away from her love (Mia's father) so that she could bring Mia up away from the lime light of being a princess. There are one or two lovely moments between mother and daughter in this film, and yet it's clear that Mia's mum didn't do it purely for her daughter but also a little because she herself wasn't really suited to a royal lifestyle either.
Julie Andrews as the royal grandmother is as stunning as you might imagine her to be. Regal and imposing when necessary, and yet, still managing to be warm and trying to win her granddaughters love and affection too. The look on her face when a stunned Mia finds out she's really a princess and uses typical teen speak which has to be translated for Granny dearest is fantastic. Again when she agrees to go out and spend the day with Mia being shown the city as a regular person you see both sides. She couldn't possibly carry change in her pockets as it wouldn't be seemly for a queen to jangle, but she's still willing to try a corn dog and pronounces it quite delicious even though the look on her face when Mia suggests getting another one gives away her real thoughts.
There are so many others in this film that ought to be mentioned really, such as Hecor Elizondo who plays the queens right hand man/bodyguard Joe with a stunning upstanding performance that's just tinged with the right amount of humour when he finds himself playing chauffer to Mia as she changes in the back of the car into suitable attire for her grandmother. Then there's Paulo the slightly larger than life Italian hairdresser who 'outs' Mia to the press played by Larry Miller, and Lilly Moscovitz Mia's outspoken best friend who hosts a public access TV show called 'Shut Up and Listen' and is trying to change the world played superbly by Heather Matarazzo, and I've not even mentioned Lily's brother Michael played by Robert Schwatzman.
Overall the acting standard in this is incredibly high bearing in mind that a large proportion of the actors and actresses in it are teenagers, and even 'Lana, Anna and Montana' the three 'in crowd' girls who cause Mia some rather embarrassing problems are played very well indeed despite being the sort of pampered cow's that you just want to slap!
I did mention these briefly already and to be fair there isn't very much more I can say. The two music videos aren't bad if you like the songs (which I happen to), and some of the deleted scenes are interesting to watch, but I found the audio commentaries a bit boring and wasn't overly impressed with the 'a new princess' featurette. Like with many films today these are really just there as fillers I think, and like with one or two other Disney films, I'd have liked to seen a blooper reel on there, and maybe some making of footage.
You've probably realised by now that I truly love this film. It's ditzy, a bit out there in terms of storyline perhaps, but is just so incredibly well written and acted that honestly it really doesn't matter if it's off there in fairy land and not really very fixed in reality.
The DVD can be bought pretty cheaply these days as it's over 10 years old now and really all I can say to you is if you've not watched it and don't hate this sort of film then go buy it, I seriously doubt you'll be disappointed. The music in this is also lively and up beat which helps to bring it to life rather well, and there are some lovely 'teen' moments if you know what I mean such as the scene where Mia is getting her first kiss and instead of getting her 'foot popping moment' such as you see in all the old movies, instead gets her foot tangled in an old fishing net.
In terms of something to help keep the kids/teens amused this one's brilliant and I bet loads of you mums find yourself sitting down to watch it too (and secretly I reckon there are a few dads quite like this as well even if not for the same reasons!).
You've gotta hand it to Disney when it comes to bringing fairytales to life and the Princess Diaries, originally a teen-fiction book by Meg Cabot, makes no exception.
Mia Thermopolis is a bright but terribly shy and gawky teenager whose goal in life is to survive each school day with a minimum of attention and embarrassment. Unfortunately her wish to be invisible is thwarted when her strict grandmother arrives and delivers the shocking news that she's a real-life princess - heir to the throne of Genovia. Furious, the reluctant young royal agrees to take "princess lessons" and make the biggest decision of her life in three weeks. And so begins a comical transformation towards the poise and princess-ness when she finds herself in the middle of a media storm, jealous school mates and a plot to take over her country.
~the characters & their roles~
Mia Thermopolis or potentially Princess Amelia Minuette Thermopolis Renaldi is expertly played by Anne Hathaway. This was my first introduction to Hathaway as an actress and I have watched her subsequent performances with delight. Hathaway can do graceful and elegant with effortless ease, but also works the down to earth, geeky, girl-next-door role to a T. I loved watching her transformation in this tale and indeed her trials and tribulations at school. As Mia, she was always strong yet a little ditsy and this really help the viewer to be enamoured by her. Her on-screen relationship with her Artist mother (Caroline Goodall) and her Royal Grandmother (Julie Andrews) are enchanting. In this Cinderella story I don't think they could have cast a better lead. Having been sheltered for fifteen years by her parents Mia discovers, after the sudden and unexpected death of her father the Crown Prince of Genovia, that she is next in line to the throne. Naturally shocked by this news she struggles to come to terms with her mother lying to her for fifteen years and her Grandmother ignoring her. Her mother says of it "I was young, I wanted to paint and didn't want to be tied down to Royal duties - I just wanted you to have a normal upbringing."
Julie Andrews gives a sterling perfomance as The Queen, it would seem that this is a role she was born to play. Graceful and immaculate with her perfect accent and manners she comes across as firm yet soft too. Her relationship with the Royal Protector (Body Guard?) played by Hector Elizondo is one of the delights in this tale as we watch them classily slow dance and he tells her "for too long have you worn black", refering to the passing of her husband. Although she is grieving for the loss of her husband and now her son, practicalities dictate that she must attend to matters of the state at all times - sometimes hardening her to everyday sensitivities.
Mandy Moore plays Lana the school "queen bitch" whose nasty comments and actions highlight the every day American Highschool plight for geekier kids. Moore is head of the cheerleading squad and as they sing " Lana, Anna and Montana" we hope that they'll get their comeuppance some day.
~about the story~
Meg Cabot wrote the Princess Diaries as the first of a series of books following Mia's life which have been successful enough to be converted into two films. There is a sequel to the first film and although I didn't think it was as good - it still carries the lighthearted Disney touch. None of this tale wallows in the depth of any issues here and it is comfortably rated U and has transfered well to screen. I would, as always advocate that books are better for everything.
This is an enchanting story and everyone will know the outcome from the outset but it doesn't detract from enjoying the journey.
Hathaway is funny. From putting on tights in a car, breaking statues to setting things on fire at state dinners she is truly enjoyable to watch. I particularly enjoyed the physical transformation with much eyebrow plucking and the attempts at baseball.
I notice many of the cast from Pretty Woman (the Julia Roberts classic) make an appearance here, notably Hector Elizondo with the guy who was the lift attendant in the original film. They add gravitas to this Cinderella tale.
A Garry Marshall film produced by Debra Martin Chase, Mario Ischovich AND Whitney Houston this runs for 111 minutes and both me, my 7 year old girl AND my 12 year old son enjoyed this (tho don't tell my sons mates!)
This film is what it is. A true Disney tale with all the sparkle and glitter that we can trust from this name. It's not an Oscar worthy script but with a good cast and a lighthearted feel it makes for relaxing viewing.
Having been released for sometime now on DVD this film can be purchased for as little as £1.99 on Amazon I've found. If you haven't seen it before and are stuck for something to entertain those kids (particularly girlies) in the summer hols, then I don't think you could go far wrong with this.
Movie Length: 110 minutes
Directed by Garry Marshall
Country: United States
Julia Andrews as Queen Clarisse Renaldi
Anne Hathaway as Mia Thermopolis
Hector Elizondo as Joe
Heather Matarazzo as Lilly Moscovitz
The story is about a 15 year old girl named Mia who is a bit awkward and shy. Mia doesn't live a really remarkable life and tries to survive school every day with her best friend Lilly. But her life is about to change when her grandmother who Mia doesn't even know about decides to appear in her life. Her father died 2 months ago and her grandmother has some shocking news for her that she is a princess and sole heir to the small country of Genovia.. Mia has three weeks to decide whether she really wants to succeed to the throne and she will have to make her decision during a royal banquet. She doesn't want to decide just yet but she does allow her grandmother to tutor her in the ways of being a princess and give her a much needed makeover.
The performances in the film are good. Anne Hathaway plays Mia the 15-year-old girl who just goes to school every day. Her life is suddenly turned up side down by the arrival of her grandmother. Anna Hathaway is absolutely perfect in this role and really plays mia with a likeability and she radiates star qualitywhenever she is on screen. She does the comedy excellent being initially shy and really clumsy and then later when she gets her glam makeover she looks like a princess but is still clumsy. Her grandmother is played by Julie Andrews who is of course an icon. She plays a queen and certainly talks like a queen and just radiates class. Mia's best friend is played by Heather Matarazzo and they have great chemistry between them and are believable as best friends. Heather plays her role really sarcastic and is very funny.
There are some extras on the DVD including a great making of the film. This extra includes interviews behind the scenes and little scenes of the film. There are also deleted scenes that didn't make the final cut you can hear commentary from the director what the reason was. There is also a directors commentary of the film and it's a pleasure to listen to as he is very enthusiastic about everything in the film.Also included are the commentary of Anne and Julie which is fascinating to listen to.
Nice easy movie to watch but maybe it's a little more for children than adults but I had expected that. The film has a simple story and is a real fairy tale and fortunately there was also plenty of humour. Anne Hathaway is very good in this film but also Julia Andrews. They play off each other well and their comedic timing is very good. There's also a good amount of extra's on the DVD which is always a plus point. Very well done.
Running time: 111 mins
Director: Gary Marshall
Starring: Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway, Hector Elizondo, Mandy Moore, Caroline Goodall and Heather Matarazzo
The Princess Diaries is one movie that I can't help loving. Mainly because I like watching fish out of water films and it is a comedy. Anne Hathaway is one of my favourite actress and I personally think that it doesn't matter what movie she is in, she always gives a brilliant performances. Some may think that the Princess Diaries is a Disney film for little girls, but the more you watch of it the more you realise that it is a teens film, that can be enjoy by young girls and young adults. The Princess Diaries is based on the book by Meg Cabot.
Anne Hathaway plays a fifteen year old girl called Mia Thermopolis, who is geeky and awkward in everything she does. As a normal teenage girl, Mia struggles to fit into her school and is seen as somewhat of an outcast along with her best friend, Lily Moscovitz (Heather Matarazzo). Mia lives and was brought up by her mum, since her dad died when she was younger. Mia's life is turned upside down when she finds out that her deceased father was the Prince of Genovia. Now her grandmother Queen Clarisse Renaldi ( Julie Andrews), breaks the news that Mia must take her fathers place and become a Princess. Queen Clarisse soon discovers that changing Mia into royalty material would be harder than she thought. Mia has many lessons that she must learn if she is to become the next in line for the throne. But Mia must make the huge life changing decision to give up her normal life or to follow in her fathers footsteps and become a princess.
I have watch the Princess diaries so many times and each time that I do, I enjoy it even more than the fist time that I watched it. I love all of the actors in the movie and I don't think the movie producers couldn't have found any more perfect for the role of Queen Clarisse than Julie Andrews. I thought her performance was brilliant and very convincing.
I would defiantly recommend watching The Princess Diaries to anyone, as it is because it is pure and simply a funny, light hearted chick-flick.
When I was younger , I always thought that the Princess Diaries was a 'little girls film'. But then over Christmas , I began watching the film on ITV1 and it turned out that this film is actually a teen film ; one which I enjoyed watching.
The Princess Diaries is teenage romantic comedy film which is based on the novel by Meg Cabot. The film released in 2001 , stars Heather Matarazzo and Anne Hathaway. Running time of this movie is one hundred and eleven minutes (nine minutes under two hours). This movie is a U which means it can be viewed by persons of all ages. The DVD is available to buy from Amazon for £3.98 which I think is excellent.
Privately educated student Mia lives with her mum and cat. Just before her sixteenth birthday , she discovers that she is to become the princess of a fictional European country called Genovia ; after discovering that her father who recently passed away was in fact the prince of the country and so his crown is passed down to his daughter. What will Mia do ? Watch The Princess to find out!
This movie was very different to what I had expected it to be. I thought that it was going to be really childish , although it turned out to have quite a 'grown up' feel to it. This is a real girlie girl film which means it is a perfect movie for a sleepover. It's such a sweet , light-hearted and up-lifting film which also means it's perfect for the whole family to watch.
Fans of the book will also love this movie. I havn't read the book myself , although I remember enjoying a book by Meg Cabot called 'All American Girl' when I was younger. Because I havn't read this book, I therefore cannot comment on whether the film is exactly the same , or better and so on , although I have read reviews of this film by fans of the book who say that the film is missing a lot of parts from the book , so that's worth taking into considertation.
I think everyone will be able to relate to the main character Mia. She is kind of like the Bridget Jones for teenagers. It also proves that you don't have to be 'cool' to be popular. Anne Hathaway did an excellent job at potraying this character.
I loved this film , and would definetely recommend it to all chick-flick lovers!
Thanks For Reading!
January 6th 2010
xd-o-n-z-x (also posted on ciao under xdonzx)
I have a secret guilty addiction. I, a grown adult with otherwise impeccable taste and a fully functioning brain, enjoy any film starring Anne Hathaway . I have something of a lady crush on this doe eyed beauty, and for this reason, I really enjoy watching the Princess Diaries, the 2001 film tale based on the series of books written by Meg Cabot about geeky teenager Mia Thermopolis, who discovers one day that far from being an ordinary teenager, she is in fact a princess .
As you can imagine, this kind of discovery plays havoc with the live of poor Mia, who, lets face it, is a bit of a geeky ugly duckling. Her Grandmother, Queen Clarice, decides not only to educate Mia in the ways of royalty, but also to give her a right royal makeover. This doesn't sit well with Mias friends, particularly best friend Lily Muscowitz, who wonders why her friend has suddenly been primped and preened so much. Mia feels like the princess secret is too much to bear - so you'd think Mia would be relieved when the secret is leaked to the press . Alas - more drama is in the works for poor Mia, as friendships are challenged, and relationships are shown to not be all they appear . Will she make up with her friends ? Will she fall in love ? And, most importantly, will she choose to run away from her duty, or will she step up to her place as next in line to the throne of Genovia .
Anne Hathaway is lovely as geeky Mia, forced into a role she does not want, and alienated from her friends . She manages to be awkward and yet suprisingly graceful, opinionated and yet demure, and really plays the role excellently.
Julie Andrews is royally regal as Queen Clarisse, and plays the character well, during the course of the film changing from an ice queen intent on following tradition, to a caring grandmother. Yes, she's hard on Mia at times, but she also manages to show a warmer side .
The real character in this film though is Mias best friend Lily, played by Heather Matarazzo - a real free thinking independent character, whose few lines really add something to the film .
The storyline is, to be honest, very predictable - this is, after all , a Disney film . It's aimed at the pre-teen crowd I feel, so the plot is un-challenging, but sweet. It flows from one event to another smoothly, and allows enough character development for you to begin caring .
I love this film . Yes, I'm 27 years old and should be over this kind of sickly sweet production by now, but luckily I have a six year old daughter (who also enjoys this film) on whom I can place the blame for me watching this so often . I have this on VHS, so I don't know anything about the extra features on the DVD, however, the DVD is available from amazon.co.uk for £3.98. or for £5.88 youcan buy it on DVD with the sequel included also .
I love this, so five stars from me!
Based on the book by Meg Cabot The Princess Diaries is a fairly typical girly Disney offering. Typical isn't, however, a slight.
Mia Thermopolis is your typically gawky American Teen and, from the opening scenes you know just where this story is going. Clearly our teen is not going to be one of the "A list crowd" and she's going to have an equally weird friend (a superb character, Lilly Moscoviz, played by Heather Matarazzo). She's the type of kid who's likely to have slightly off-beat parents (in fact her mother is an artist, her father deceased) and no boyfriend. Scene set?
Our hapless teen then discovers the truth that's been hidden from her for 15 years, that her father was King of Genovia and that, following his death, she is next in line to the throne. Cue "The Ugly Duckling/Pygmalion" story.
If it all seems rather superficial then that's intentional - this is Disney after all. Where, however, this film breaks from the candy cane is in its subliminal depths. Whilst at a surface level we could all, with just that brief introduction, fairly accurately reproduce the remainder of the plot whether or not the film had been viewed what one might miss out on is the lesson that is to be learned. It's a lesson of courage (rather succinctly summed up by Mia's Father in a posthumous letter: "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.").
The characterisation is sound, as one would expect of a Disney production. Julie Andrews as Mia's grandmother is particularly worthy of mention - Julie has the qualities of a prim and proper aristocrat in abundance and she uses them all to dramatic effect yet maintains the softness for which she is famed. There is more than a hint of "Maria" in her character! Anne Hathaway provides the lead and deals more than adequately with the character changes that are required. Other notable performances are from Hector Elizondo (as Joe, the chauffeur come royal aide) and Heather Matarazzo as Lilly.
Personally I'd like to have seen more of Mia pre-transformation. We could all see who she was and where she'd be going but there were some great comedic moments which I think could have been developed had we seen a little more of Mia in the early part of the film.
The scripting is, in my opinion, excellent. The comedy was alternately subtle and obvious. There was sufficient depth of character created where it was required and, where it was not, stereotypes were used to good effect without becoming too clichéd. There is none of the over-the-child's-head humour that one has now come to expect from "family" films - the humour sits fairly and squarely at the level of the child.
The film's target audience, young girls, will, I think love this make-over movie. For idle entertainment on a weekday night my husband and I found more than a few laughs. It was refreshing that, despite being a teen movie, many of the seedier sides of teen-hood were left out. There was no drinking, no sex and no swearing. At times, I feel the more obvious message about popularity and the pull of the it-crowd was the stronger pull when compared to the more adult themes of respect, duty and courage. However, moralising to teens is probably not going to make for a popular film!
I think that, when one remembers that this is a teen/family film it's far easier to accept the shortcomings and see the piece for what it is - a very watchable, if clichéd offering that's bound to raise a laugh or two.
Recommended (and I might even be tempted to look out for the sequel!)
This is one of the movies that I watch all over again and never, ever get fed up of it. I think that Princess Diaries is uniquely refreshing, not only because of the great fairytale touch to it, but also because of the exceptional cast and acting in the film. I first watched this film two years ago and my DVD got so worn out that I had to buy yet another copy of it. I just love the quite charm of the movie as a whole, and what particularly impresses me is the way that the cast was so natural in their roles and constantly in touch with the storyline. Even the minor characters, such as Lily (Mia's best friend) and Lana (the most popular girl at school, played by Mandy Moore) delivered an extremely fantastic performance. In addition, I think that there is something in this film to please everyone- both children and adults alike.
The story centers on the life of Mia, an ordinary girl on the dull side. She has un-styled bushy hair, large round glasses, she is clumsy and is awful at public speaking. Mia and her best friend Lana are among the least popular girls at schools and Mia is fine with that- as long as she is invisible. However, her life drastically changes when her long-lost paternal grandmother erupts into her life and announces that Mia is the next in line to the throne of Genovia. When Mia starts to be groomed and trained to be a princess, the pressure starts to mounts. How can a fifteen year old cope with the pressure of training to be a princess?
Like I mentioned in my introduction, my all time favorite feature in this film is the flawless acting. This is Anne Hathaway's debut but one could never even guess that this was her first movie. It is quite rare that I see someone so much at ease with her role. I particularly loved the way that she depicted Mia's awkwardness in the film- It got me to genuinely believe that the actress might be like that in real life, until I read an interview where she said that she was far from being as awkward as Mia. I also liked her acting during her training as a princess: she was extremely natural in the comical scenes.
I also loved Julie Andrews and Hector Elizondo. The two of them made an electric couple as the Queen and her Butler. This is one of the rare moments in cinematography where critics have had very few negative comments about their respective acting. Julie Andrews has soared a long way from The Sound of Music, but I personally believe that she still has the charm and grace to depict a Queen in Princess Diaries. Her body language was extremely graceful and fluid, and matched her line delivery to perfection. There is one scene in the film that I quite admired: She eats a corn dog for the first time and this little, brief movement really persuades the audience that Andrews never ever had a corn dog in her whole life before! I simply cannot imagine someone else playing the Queen of Genovia in this film.
As previously mentioned, I also loved Hector Elizondo. The last movie I had watched him in was Pretty Woman and he had quite a similar role in Princess Diaries: The butler who offers support and care to a lost girl. Like I told my friend today, Hector Elizondo is perfectly suited for these roles because there is an air of the kind grandfather to him. What I personally loved about his acting in Princess Diaries was his very subtle acting and line deliveries- there was not a single scene where he overdid his facial expressions or body language. On the opposite, some might say that he was a little bit too "quiet" in his role but I admired his very calm posture that matched his personality as Joe in the film.
I also very much liked the fairytale like aspect of The Princess Diaries, and the element that I admired the most was the way that they gave a magical atmosphere to the film without any resort to supernatural features such as a magic wand or fairy godmother. Princess Diaries does seem to have been brushed with a magic wand but there is logic to the plot and it does flow extremely well.
The DVD Extras include:
* Living Like a Princess Featurette
* Sneak Peek
* Deleted Scenes
* Cast Commentary
I loved the bonus features as much as I loved the film itself. My favorite feature is the cast commentary and it was great to get so many scoops and trivia about the production of the film. The inside information was just a perfect wrap-up to a perfect movie.
The fantastic cast includes
* Julie Andrews
* Anne Hathaway
* Hector Elizondo
* Heather Matarazzo
* Mandy Moore
Overall, this is a film that I would recommend to everyone. It is my personal opinion that Princess Diaries incorporates enough fun and humor in the plot to even amuse a male-oriented audience. This film is undoubtedly a must-see!
Thanks for reading!
I bought this film a while ago for my girls to watch but was saving it for a time when it would come in handy - to keep them quiet!!
A trip to Wales planned - brilliant I thought we'll pop that into the dvd case to watch in the car.
Myself and my hubby had a lovely hour and 30minutes of peace whilst hearing a few chuckles and laughs from the back!
You might say how can you review it if you've not watched it - well I did, we all watched it a few nights later and my girls 6 and 9 loved it just as much.
As most other people have said it's a rags to riches story, Mia is well played and the girls really liked the transformation! Julie Andrews is of course absolutely brilliant she is such a fantastic actress.
This film is a true modern princess story, it has the morals of friendships interwoven as well helping children learn what a true friend is which I liked.
Very entertaining film, I would certainly recommend it especially to girls aged 5 to 11.
My nine year old says - it's nice and romantic and it's beautiful!
My six year old says - It was good!
The Princess Diaries is an entertaining film that gives the familiar 'rags to riches' story a bit of a modern twist, taking the 'Ugly Duckling' Anne Hathaway and turning her into the 'Beautiful Princess' Anne Hathaway in a couple of hours.
Mia is a simple teenager, at school with friends and the same socila issues that any regular girl at school would experience. That is, until she finds out that her father was a Prince, and that she is next in line to the throne of a small country called Genovia. Her mother has sheltered her from her paternal line, wishing her to have a regular childhood and enjoy herself as opposed to having to follow the regal position to might have otherwise found herself.
What the film does is give a teenage girl a quandry - whether to accept her lineage and become a Princess, and therefore to adhere to all the social occasions and hectic schedule; or to renounce and remain in her comfortable life as a regular teenage girl.
Ultimately, it's a harmless and enjoyable 'chick flick'. Anne Hathaway is suitably 'dumb' and regular as Mia, and Caroline Goodall does a good job of the regular mom that just happened to mother a child with a Prince. But the two that steal the show are undoubtedly Hector Elizondo as the Genovian 'butler' and life long servant to the royal family, and Julie Andrews as Mia's grandmother (the Queen of Genovia) Clarisse. The two are rather regal and dashing, proper in every manner, and thoroughly entertaining.
The film is an enjoyable one, with some good acting and a well constructed, if completely predictable plot. The feel good nature of a lot of the film is clever, as is the characterisation of the main characters and indeed the lesser supporting characters. The film goes along at a gentle pace, and never pushes any of its issues. It simply portrays life as a teenage girl and actually presents what I am sure a lot of girls dream of: being a Princess. It's an enjoyable watch, and a film I have seen a couple of times.
It's the sort of that, if it's on, I'll quite happily just keep on while I do something else, or even as an afternoon film with the family. It's well made, but nothing special, and passes the time as opposed to impressing at all. It hits the spot with teenage girls, and is naturally aimed more at a female market, but there's no reason why a man can't admit to enjoying it.........is there?
In The Princess Diaries Anne Hathaway stars as Mia Thermpolis who is a typically awkward self conscious teenager however Mia life is turned upside down when her fathers mother turns up to teel her that she is a in fact of royal descenet and must return to her native home of Genovia to assume the crown so that the family dynasty can continue. Her Grandmother is played by Julie Andrews who is just excellent as she sets about training the clumsy awkward teenager to act like royalty and to be able to take on the responsibility of being ruler.
This is a typical teen Disney film and is a nice story, nothing too original but it certinly has its amusing moments and there is good on screen chemistry between Hathaway and Andrews.
I guess the film does pander a bit to most young girlsdreams of being a Princess and of course the dashing Prince that it is the wings waiting for you but its sweet innocence works really well and I enjoyed it and I'm a bit older thanb their teen target market, certainly my little niece who I watched it with loved it.
The film also has a pretty good soundtrack with some catchy songs that will have you feet tapping away.
Mia Thermopolis is a pretty geeky, frizzy-haired 15 year old girl who just about gets by with her best friends at school. However, Mia's life takes a dramatic turn when her paternal grandmother arrives back in Mia's life and makes a shocking announcement - Mia is a Princess and needs to return home to Genovia to take the crown so the Thermopolis family can continue to rule there. Mia is shocked and is unsure how she can be transformed from geeky schoolgirl to Princess in just a few weeks. But with the help of her grandmother, some highly trained beauticians and a wise chaffeur, Mia's transformation is well underway. But is becoming Princess Mia exactly what Mia wants?
The Princess Diaries is one of those films that I have always wanted to see but never quite gotten around to it. I recently saw Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars and very much liked her performance, and then I read an interview with her where she mentioned this film. Luckily for me, it was on BBC3 late on evening so I stuck in on my Sky Plus to watch when I had a bit of time, so I decided to watch it whilst I did the ironing for my recent trip away! I adore Disney films, so hoped this would be just as good, and luckily for me it was!
The film is based on a series of books by the same name by author Meg Cabot who writes both children's and adult fiction. I've not read any of her work but these books have been a massive hit in the children's fiction genre. It has a good list of stars within it, from the lead Anne Hathaway to Julie Andrews, Hector Elizondo and a young Mandy Moore in a small role too. The film is definitely a modern twist on the fairytale and is sure to delight younger viewers with its positive theme, modern soundtrack and Mia's transformation from geek to Princess, complete with gorgeous dresses, tiaras and palace too!
Anne Hathaway is positively enchanting as young Mia. Yes, she's about 4 years older than the character she plays but I didn't notice this in her performance at all. She fully embodied the awkwardness of Mia with her big hair, unruly eyebrows and her demeanour was very endearing, you couldn't help but like her. Anne's acting is fabulous, and sat in perfectly with what you would expect from a Disney lead actress. She has charm, likeability and is totally in control of the film at all times. She has definitely made the transition from children's to more mature comedy perfectly but I think she has a real niche here, her performance was just perfect for the film. There are subtle hints at romance for our young Princess, but these are tackled well by the film and are very sweet to watch.
The rest of the cast do a wonderful job too. There were 2 other stand out performances for me in the movie, one of which was Julie Andrews as Mia's grandmother Queen Clarisse. Most famous for her performance in The Sound of Music, Andrews took this role as a revival to her career, and I think it was a great choice for this. Her role, while not necessarily likeable at first, changes throughout the film and she has the air of superiority and poise to carry off the royal role. Hector Elizando was also a great addition, playing Clarisse's chaffeur Joseph. He isn't a major role but I thought his performance was understated and he worked well with Andrews. Look out for Grey's Anatomy's Sandra Oh in a small role too, funny to see her out of those scrubs!
The film aims to get a snapshot of life in an American high school, and I think it does this well. There are the typical "cliques" you would expect, the geeks, the cheerleaders, the football stars and more. You can see all the young actors in these roles and Mandy Moore crops up as two-faced cheerleader Lana. The shock and ridicule of Mia during her transformation was well covered in the film and I feel quite realistic to how it would be dealt with in real life, so for this I applaud the film. The movie's soundtrack is also very good, with tracks from Mandy Moore herself, Hanson, Aaron Carter and Pink among others. The "Disney Theme" for this film, Miracles Happen, is a charming song and the perfect teeny-bop feel good anthem!
I really did enjoy every minute of this film, even if it is aimed at a far younger audience than me! Still, I very much liked the performances of the cast and felt they put their all into a charming fairytale, with special mention going to Anne Hathaway who really was fantastic as Princess Mia. I am curious to find out how far the film sticks to the book, but I don't think I'll hurry to read it as it's really children's fiction! It's a fun filled almost 2 hours, and I am sure it will delight young girls who dream of being a Princess, but its pretty fun for us grown up girls (and boys!) too!
Director: Garry Marshall / Writers: Meg Cabot and Gina Wendkos
Running Time: 115 minutes
Julie Andrews ... Queen Clarisse Renaldi
Anne Hathaway ... Mia Thermopolis
Hector Elizondo ... Joe
Heather Matarazzo ... Lilly Moscovitz
Mandy Moore ... Lana Thomas
Caroline Goodall ... Helen Thermopolis
Robert Schwartzman ... Michael Moscovitz
Thank you for reading.
I am a really big fan of the books by Meg Cabot, Princess Diaries, so I watched this movie and I just loved it! Anne Hathaway plays Mia, a girl from San Francisco who is considered a geek and is in love with jock, Josh. She has a genius bestfriend, Lilly and an artist mother, Helen. After the death of her father, her grandmother who is played by Julie Andrews acclaimed actress visits her. She is then told that she is a princess. That's when her life turns upside down. Mia will get to have a makeover, not only in her looks but her life will change, dramatically, very dramatically.
I love the books so it was only natural to watch this. I enjoyed watching it and highly recommend it to anyone. Anne Hathaway is hilarious in her portrayal of Mia. Michael is so cool! Julie Andrews looks so good as the dowager princess. Everyone played their characters very well. Mandy Moore is so different from her character as Jamie (A Walk to Remember) from her character as a cheerleader here in this film. I absolutely loved it! It may not stay perfectly and completely true from the book, but this is still really good.
The film is based off a successful book series by Meg Cabot and it follows Mia Thermopolis, a girl from San Francisco who is plain, clumsy and just really an outcast. It's your usual story, ugly swan becomes beautiful swan kind of thing, but the way be becomes beautiful is a bit different to usual stories.
When Mia's grandmother comes to visit, Mia is told that she is next in line to the throne, and it's her choice whether she becomes Queen, but in the mean time she is receiving princess lessons.
Anne Hathaway: Mia
Julie Andrews: Queen Clarisse
Heather Matarazzo: Lilly
Hector Elizondo: Joe
Mandy Moore: Lana
Robert Schwartzman: Michael
I have to say, even though I will not admit this to everyone, I love this film. I watched it back when it was released in 2001, so I would have been very very young at the time, and of course I was the right age range for the film.
The rating of U is just perfect, there is nothing in the film which even breaks the boundaries in the slightest, this means that you can watch it with any age group and I'm sure that they would enjoy it.
I wouldn't say showing this to a bloke as I'm sure 9/10 they'll be sobbing with boredom by the end of it, but if like me, you girls want a nice chick flick to watch then Princess Diaries is for you, it's funny and just typical chick flickish.
This was Hathaway's first role, now she's an Oscar nominated actress, so it shows how far people can come. She's great in this film, she plays almost two roles in the film and manages to do both brilliantly.
However it is the brilliant Julie Andrews that makes the film, I haven't seen her in anything other than this and of course Sound of Music, but in this she was brilliant. She's such a good actress and really is great as the royal Queen. A perfect fitting role.
The other cast are just as brilliant and make this film what it is today.
Comparison with the Book
I have to say, I prefer this film to all of the books, I think there are 10 books now and this film came out around the fourth book. This meant that it didn't really follow the story of the book, but I am one of the only people that prefer the film to the books. I love Meg Cabot, she is a fantastic author, but I find that her most famous books are her weakest books.
Value For Money
You can get this DVD as a single DVD for about £4, but what is an even better deal is you can get the first and the second film for just under £7 off amazon. This is a great deal, it's a brilliant film and such a joy to watch.
Should You Buy The DVD
Yes, I am not a huge fan of the second film but still it's an okay film. If you want a good clean film for your daughters then this is for you. It's also good if like me you like chick flicks. They're a lot of fun to watch.
Running Time: 115minutes
Director: Garry Marshall
Release Date: December 2001
Great little film made from the Princess Diaries books, although I'll admit to prefering Princess Diaries 2 ( although that maybe due to Chris Pine *yum* ) but they're actually very different films.
The first Princess Diaries film takes an awkward, geeky and unpopular character called Mia ( played by Anne Hathaway ) and transforms her into a confident and mature young woman. The film begins by making the viewer aware of a typical day in Mia's life, quietly persued by a shy Michael ( brother of Mia's best friend Lilly, played by Robert Schwartzman ) unbeknownst to Mia and we see her close friendship with Lilly. They're seen as somewhat social outcasts in school and here we see just how much Mia suffers from lack of confidence, especially when she treated like the school geek on a daily basis and here we learn of Mia's attraction to Josh, the boyfriend of Lana the cheerleading captain and one of her main detractors in school.
Then her life changes. Just before her 16th birthday, Mia's maternal grandmother ( mother of her late father, played by Julie Andrews ) arrives from Genovia to inform Mia that since the death of her father it is she who is in line to the Genovian throne. Of course Mia is shocked since she knew nothing about this and is angry with her mother for never telling her. However, whilst at first Mia is very reluctant she agrees to the idea in principle and this is when her "Princess training" by her teacher, her Grandmother Queen Clarisse Renaldi begins.
First, she has a make-over ( the hairdresser in question , Paolo, played by Larry Miller, known to me as the smarmy store manager in Pretty Woman ) and is eventually transformed, after a few comical disasters, into the beautiful young woman she was always capable of being with a little more confidence. Throughout her training she has the use of the Queen's personal bodyguard Joseph ( played by Hector Elizondo, another Pretty woman actor !! The hotel manager ) which sparks the beginning of a trusting friendship between them. However, her friendship with Lilly and Michael begins to suffer and Mia lets them down on a couple of occasions. One occasion being because Josh asks Mia to accompany him to a beach party ( after the school/everyone else finds out that Mia is in line to become Genovian royalty ) which she excitedly accepts but things happen which cause her great embarrassment and negative media publicity.
However, as much as her Grandmother is 'not pleased' to say the least she is reminded of the fact that she is still a young woman and is her Grand-daughter, not just Heir to the throne and they become close again.
Then the times comes for Mia to decide whether she will publicly accept the role of being Heir to the throne at a ball. She tries to make up it up with her friends Lilly and Michael ( who she now realises is the boy for her, not Josh and both Lilly and Michael accept her apology and attend the ball ) and although there is a mishap on the way involving her car and being helped by Joseph, Mia ( in no fit state for a Princess !! LOL !! ) arrives to claim acceptance to the role of heir.
A great chick flick film and one to watch before the second one to get a good understanding of relationships etc in the second film. I'd say suitable for all ages, probably more suitable for girls aged 7-8 and upwards.
A thoroughly engaging fairy tale that's family friendly without being condescending, The Princess Diaries is your basic Cinderella makeover story given a fresh, affectionate twist courtesy of a game, energetic cast and a screenplay that skirts schmaltz in favour of gentle, effective comedy. Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) is a frizzy-haired, glasses-wearing 15-year-old girl whose two highest ambitions are to become invisible and to get a few smooches from the slickly attractive school heartthrob. As a girl who can't stand being the centre of attention so much that she throws up during debate class, she's stunned and horrified when her coolly continental grandmother(Julie Andrews) shows up and informs her that she's the crown princess of the European principality Genovia. Soon enough, Mia has to undertake "princess lessons" (and a makeover) from her queenly grandmother, and eventually she blossoms into a confident, radiant girl despite the worries and pressure that her newfound status brings. What makes The Princess Diaries work is director Garry Marshall's guileless, irony-free approach to the material (based on Meg Cabot's novel). In comparison to most sarcastic, ultra-hip teen comedies, The Princess Diaries is refreshingly and enjoyably square, content to win you over on charm alone and not a slick bag of tricks. Hathaway is a charismatic, appealing role model with a sharp sense of comic timing, and Andrews--who came to stardom as the object of a makeover supreme in My Fair Lady on Broadway--is at her regal best, whether teaching Mia the proper royal wave or learning how to eat a corndog. Both leading ladies are complemented by a finely tuned cast, including Hector Elizondo as Genovia's head of security (and romantic counterpart to Andrews), Heather Matarazzo as Mia's best pal, and Robert Schwartzman as the good guy who ultimately wins Mia's heart. All in all, this is a royal pleasure. --Mark Englehart, Amazon.com