“There’s nothing loose about this goose.”
Holiday: Christmas. Obviously.
Genre: Regal Rom-coms
Synopsis: Amber longs to become more than a copy editor at her newspaper. Prince Richard longs for freedom from the crown. When Amber sneaks into the palace as the “nanny” to the Princess, unexpected sparks fly. Can these two figure out what they really want? Um, DUH.
Unwrap or regift?: This is one of my favorite things to watch during the holidays, an I’m not ashamed. I mean, I should be, but I’m not. In fact, you’ll see the whole three film set this season. Why? Because it’s my blog. And I love cheesy crap.
How cheesy? Unbelievably so, and by that I mean it’s all but impossible to believe the way this plot gets going. You’ve got to believe that there’s absolutely no security whatsoever at the castle, and that the nanny hired for a Princess would have zero background checks, with nobody knowing what she looks like. (That one member of the court easily finds the deception immediately shows the lack of 21st century security protocols…)
This film is entirely carried on the shoulders of its sweet lead, Rose McIver, and its delightfully baddy- bad cousin Simon, played with smarmy glee by Theo Devaney. Between the two of them, other characters that aren’t so vibrant (looking at you, wooden Prince Richard) are lifted up a notch.
Richard’s much younger sister Princess Emily has spina bifida, and outside of a quick bit of “yeah yeah I know you feel sorry for me everybody does” bit in the beginning, she’s treated like any other person by the main characters. It’s a breath of fresh air, and so is young actress Honor Kneafsey’s cheeky, sweet performance.
These three performers are the reason to tune in. They take this Hallmark-lite story and make it enjoyable by pure onscreen charisma, and well played comedic timing. Plus, “Aldovia” (aka Sinaia and Bucharest in real life), is absolutely breathtaking, and being able to drool over the cinematography is well worth your time.
Yes, everything gets resolved in happily ever after fashion. And yes, it’s a bit too tidy. But as a film that comes thisclose to Disney in it’s fairytale narrative, I’m okay with that. It’s a happy little story that says “forget everything and just have fun for an hour and a half”. That’s the kind of holiday indulgence I can get with. Now pass me one of those royal gingerbread cookies, and let’s watch it again.
Score: 4 out of 5 Hos