Film Review: A Christmas Prince (2017)
Netflix has debuted on the Christmas rom-com, Hallmark-esque scene with its A Christmas Prince. The film stars Rose McIver (known from iZombie and as Tinker Bell from Once Upon a Time) and Tom Lamb. She plays a wannabe reporter out to get a scoop on the apparent playboy prince, and he plays the apparent playboy prince to be scooped. Settled comfortably in the cheery and predictable rom-com genre, A Christmas Prince offers no surprises or genre-bending twists. It’s traditional fare, comfort viewing at its most deliciously predictable and eye-rollingly obvious.
Once Upon a Time in Aldovia…
Amber Moore (Rose McIver) is a copy editor, working for a gossip mag in New York. She’s tired of editing others’ work and aspires to write her own articles. Her big chance is handed to her, when her boss sends her off to Aldovia (a magical, European land covered in snow) to cover a press conference concerning the wayward Aldovian prince, Prince Richard (Tom Lamb), who may or may not abdicate the throne. That is the big question.
The press conference gets cancelled, Amber is sorely disappointed, thinking her one, big chance is about to slip through her fingers, when a little white lie gets her in. While wandering the castle grounds, Amber is mistaken for the new American tutor, a mistake she does not rectify. She is in. Her student is Princess Emily, little sister to Prince Richard, a precocious and intelligent girl confined to a wheelchair because of spina bifida.
After some initial teasing and testing, Emily accepts Amber, and the two hit it off. And just as she’s hitting it off with the little sister, well, Amber is finding the older brother rather alluring. Prince Richard is not the elusive, superficial playboy as often portrayed in the media. He’s kind and thoughtful, plays the piano, rides horses, plays with orphans and on it goes. Amber’s conscience is persistently niggling at her deception, and a moral and ethical quandary is brewing as to what and how and if she should report. Richard confides in her. They’re bonding. She discovers some secret documents that are a gamechanger with regards to the heir to the throne. There are other apparent heirs out for the throne. Richard must decide what he wants. And Amber must decide if she will come clean, what/if she will write, and what she wants.
Good, If Predictable, Tidings of Comfort and Cheer
A Christmas Prince is diverting fluff. It checks off all the many standard and traditional plot points of the rom-com genre. Meet cute of initial irritation – check. Minor deception that grows bigger as time goes by and feelings grow – check. Man of substance, despite initial unfavorable impressions – check. Guilty conscience and coming clean – check. Cinderella moment – check. Forgiveness – check. Overt and overflowing declarations of love – check. Throw in some snow and castles and orphans and bucking horses and it’s all good.
A Christmas Prince can be enjoyed earnestly, mindlessly and ironically. It’s cheerful, comfort viewing for this season of comfort and cheer. And it’ll be interesting to see if Netflix will continue in this realm of Hallmark-esque films.
Content Note: Rated TV-PG.
Where to Watch: Netflix.
“Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce
me. Aren’t you?”
“Happiness in marriage is entirely a
matter of chance.”