Last night was my Christmas party at work and, I’m sorry to say, the free wine on the tables was really flowing. Mainly in my direction. I wasn’t feeling as bad as I expected this morning but, boy, was I glad I had the day off today! I’m so tired. But, instead of spending the day in bed, I have to get myself sorted before I’m out again tonight. I’m such a Grandma these days. All I want is to snuggle up in bed watching more shit Netflix Christmas films. I still have loads that I want to watch but, I’m happy to say, that I have watched the most important one already. After last year’s A Christmas Prince got the internet going mental, I was kind of excited (maybe excited isn’t the right word) to see how the sequel would go. The first film was so bad but in such a wonderful way. And this one has a wedding. That’s always a narrative choice that is both original and full of funny ideas. Right? Guys? Am I right?
Before I watched A Christmas Prince 2 I asked myself whether it was important to rewatch the first film. You know, to make sure I was still up to speed with everything that had happened 12 months ago. It’s been a while, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to follow the plot. Then I remembered I was about to watch A Christmas Prince 2 and it really didn’t matter. I’d be shocked if the writers had actually seen the first film before writing the second. Although, they’ve clearly been on Wikipedia because there is so much recapping within the script. Characters talk about the events of the last film as if they weren’t even there. The King’s cousin, Count Simon, is basically introduced as “cousin Simon who tried to steal the throne” despite the fact that everyone in the room already knows who he is and what he did. It’s amazing writing.
Which I know is something nobody came to watch this film for. And it’s a good job because you can tell where this is going from the opening scene. In between all of the wedding planning, “journalist” Amber starts to investigate the financial problems in the totally realistic European Kingdom Aldovia. Despite the fact that King Richard has implemented a programme of revitalisation to bring money back to the people, unemployment is on the rise and the people are starting to revolt. It doesn’t take a world-famous blogger and Queen-to-be to work out what’s going on and who is responsible. I’d worked it out as soon as the character’s name was mentioned. But, we’re not here for the twists and turns, right? We’re here for the good stuff like last time.
And it’s a good job because everyone has clearly been paying attention to what the internet said the first time. There is plenty more of everything that people were talking about last time. Like the throwaway moment from A Christmas Prince where you could see Amber’s terrible notes if you paused. This time there is a full on close-up of her notes which simply reads “Meadowlark” and “fishy”. Yeah, it was fun the first time but this fan-service feels kind of desperate. This film is so forced and copies so much from the first film. We even have a tobogganing scene for no reason other than the fact it was in the first film. With all of this filler, it’s really no wonder that the titular Royal Wedding doesn’t take place until the final 10 minutes of the film.
Because there is a lot going on with The Royal Wedding aside from the wedding and the political intrigue. We meet Amber’s best friends, Prince Emily gets a love interest, Amber has to fight to keep her blog, there’s a horribly clichéd wedding planner, and Amber’s father flirts with an angry chef. It’s a busy little film but none of the stories that make it up really have any substance. It’s difficult to care about anything that’s going on and there will be moments when you wonder why you’re still watching. But you will keep watching. This a cost and easy film. It’s Christmas personified… albeit with an added layer of social and economic upheaval. It’s kind of depressing but we’re all living this in the real world. It might as well be a part of A Christmas Prince 2 too.
So is A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding any good? Not at all but that’s not a huge surprise considering the first one. So, the real question is, is it better than the original? Again, no. It’s still kind of fun but less so. It’s more annoying and it’s really obvious that it’s just playing off the comments about the last one. And there are so many irritating moments. If I’m honest, I think I was out the moment Amber started speaking the words she was writing on her blog. As if we all sit in front of our computers talking to ourselves like lunatics. We don’t. Yes, we may be lunatics but we’re at least quiet with it.
Who is Murdocal? A casual critic who is a little bit too obsessed with pop culture. A young woman who swears and rants much more than she knows she should whilst trying to make her way in an adult world she isn't prepared for. A not as recent as she'd like literature graduate who, between job applications and subsequent rejections, has turned to the internet to fight the boredom and review the shit out of everything.
"Maybe, just maybe, I'm the faller. Every family has someone who falls, who doesn't make the grade, who stumbles, who life trips up. Maybe I'm our faller."