A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby Review — Middling Kingdom 'Tis the season
Another year, another mouthful of monarchy porn in Netflix’s unchallenging, darling festive franchise.
Another year, another mouthful of monarchy p**n in Netflix’s unchallenging, darling festive franchise.
Christmas is right around the corner, and you know what that means – the latest installment in Netflix’s darling festive franchise, the perfect stocking filler for those who enjoy totally unchallenging and saccharine storytelling and feel the monarchy doesn’t get quite enough attention or credit. The conceit of A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby should be obvious from the title: One year after their Royal Wedding, which our own Dan Hart, a kinder critic than myself, thought was abominable, Amber (Rose McIver) and Richard (Ben Lamb) are expecting their first baby. Rejoice!
Or perhaps don’t. Missing an open goal when it comes to examining or criticizing the ludicrous and intrusive media attention royal pregnancies tend to garner in reality, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby instead plays it all with a formulaic shrug and a knowing, self-referential wink; the collective national ownership of a woman’s body, pregnancy and child just cute, Christmassy comfort food served blandly by John Schultz, who once again directs.
Not that I care much either way, obviously, since this isn’t a film with strong enough convictions to be offensive. That is, of course, unless you’re offended by cheesy histrionics, which I suppose is fair enough. Some welcome attempts at minority representation are to be found in the introduction of King Tai (Kevin Shen) and Queen Ming (Momo Yeung), rulers of a vaguely Asian nation who are in Aldovia to sign and take possession of a treaty which they renew and swap back and forth every century to stave off a pointless war. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that the treaty goes missing, nor that the countries have no choice but to default to war if it isn’t signed, nor that there’s a silly curse involved.
It’s a mystery that can only be solved by a blogger queen, naturally, and one that most people won’t care about until its escalation becomes too bonkers to ignore. Anyone watching this, the third entry in a franchise that began as faintly pointless and only became more so from there, already knows whether or not they’ll like it, and A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby neither adds nor takes away anything that might change their mind. I’ll leave you with that.