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Ah, Christmas. Regardless if you count down the days or you are an unswervable grinch, it is unavoidable. Even on Netflix. As the red logo surfaced on the screen I did feel slightly nostalgic. I knew I was about to watch A Christmas Prince. This romantic tale has all the bearings of a very average Christmas movie. I was not expecting anything less.
What is Netflix Original A Christmas Prince about?
The story displays the predictable conventions of a modern day fairytale. Aspiring New York journalist Amber (Rose McIver), frustrated with her job at the newspaper firm, is offered a lifetime career-changing opportunity to investigate the royal family in Aldovia. The country itself is invented for the purpose of the narrative. King Richard has died. Next in line is Prince Richard (Ben Lamb), who in the light of the media encapsulates a typical playboy who is rumoured to be abdicating the throne. Amber, who is eager to probe this matter, goes undercover and veils herself as the Queen’s daughter’s tutor. Like all Christmas-centric tales, A Christmas Prince is as predictable as it gets.
Why is this Christmas tale predictable?
Of course, it is categorically predictable. There is no possible way that this romantic Christmas fairytale can be spoiled. However, this is not an element to be criticised. A Christmas Prince is starkly average and does the minimum to deliver. The plot is outlandish, unrealistic and soppy, but in the grand scheme of romantic fairytales, it is nothing noteworthy. If you have seen plenty of Disney movies or anything in the romantic genre then you will realise this only aspires to tell a one-dimensional story. Of course, it displays the magic that the season brings; heavy snow, charming lights, decorations and even baking relatable cookies. All this feels rather enchanting. A Christmas Prince wants to fulfil the specification for Netflix. To be a Christmas movie. Even the music is generic; what you expect when you are passing Santa’s grotto.
It sounds like there is not much to criticise about A Christmas Prince.
There is not much to criticise. The purpose of creating this movie is questioned. Why do we need it? Netflix release many Original-labelled films yet ironically A Christmas Prince could quite possibly be their least original yet. Amber is the typical careerist New Yorker. She appears resistant to a love life and Prince Richard, with his reputation preceding him, has obvious vulnerabilities that excuse his behaviour. Much of the movie is Amber “tutoring” the Queen’s daughter, falling in love with Richard and feeling guilty about spying on the family. Prince Richard spends most of the movie disappearing, displaying noble behaviour and increasingly lusting for Amber.
Anything that stands out in this Netflix Original?
A Christmas Prince remains stagnant from the start. It barely encourages a smile and you have to patiently wait until it reaches its dull conclusion, which you have already predicted at the start of the movie. The script obviously manufactures itself for uneventful performances to reach the ninety-minute mark.
Without sounding like a Grinch it is just a Christmas movie. Predictable, average, stale. A Christmas Prince was created to fill the seasonal thumbnails.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.