With less meat and more dressing, The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star is a predictable, cliched Christmas drama one can watch as an amusing guilty pleasure.
This review of the Netflix film The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star does not contain spoilers.
This time of the year, when we are entering the winter, The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star gives us some Christmas vibes. Directed by Michael Rohl, this is the third installment of The Princess Switch series. Though I have not seen the previous two installments, this film can be comprehensible as a stand-alone movie. Also for convenience, it starts with a brief recap of the previous events from the former installments that helped me to comprehend the flow of events.
The film revolves around the stealing of a priceless relic, the ‘Star of Peace’, from the supervision of the royal look-alikes Stacy and Margaret. The ‘Star of Peace’ is a very valuable relic as it belongs to Saint Nicholas and the Vatican loans it to the royal family of Montenaro to exhibit it on the occasion of Christmas. As in this state of crisis, Stacy and Margaret turn to their audacious doppelganger Fiona for help. With the help of Fiona and her associate Peter, how they retrieve the valuable relic is the overall story of this film.
Written by Robin Bernheim Burger, the film is quite straightforward itself. But there are all the elements for a spicy Christmas film. There are the protagonists (in this case three look-alikes all played by Vanessa Hudgens), a dashing antagonist, romance, some cheesy lines of dialogue, and some slapstick comedy. Despite all these tropes, the screenplay is predictable and cliched from beginning to end. The characters have less meat and the focus on what they wear becomes more important than the character development. A horrible example of that is the character of the antagonist, Hunter Cunard, who is considered a key figure of the film but criminally omitted from fleshing out his true colors.
Vanessa Hudgens tries her best with three different characters in the triple role, but her acting is too inconsistent. Sometimes she pulls it off perfectly and sometimes it goes wrong. The two pivotal male characters played by Sam Palladio and Nick Sagar have nothing much to do than to receive kisses from the female lead. Remy Hii as Fiona’s ex and a close associate looks dashing in the film but his deadpan face and lack of expression make the character a waste.
Though the film has all these flaws, it is quite an enjoyable guilty pleasure for me after so long a time. As I am an Indian, I am quite fascinated by the thought that this kind of costume drama (less meat and more costumes) I have been seeing from my childhood in Bollywood films. That brings the nostalgia back into my memory making it an amusing guilty pleasure to watch.
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