THE FILM: The Prince and Me (2004)
THE PAIRING: Paige Morgan (Julia Stiles) and Eddie (Luke Mably)
THE MOMENT: Eddie teaches Paige about Shakespeare
One of my most nostalgic romantic comedy favorites is a little film called The Prince and Me. In fact, I still have this vague memory of being at the theater, and seeing the life-size cutout poster art for the film. Needless to say, the romantic teenager in me was a little bit enchanted with The Prince and Me.
To this day, not a whole lot has changed. The plot of this 2004 romantic comedy is simple but all about the old-fashioned charms. It tells the story of a college Midwestern college girl named Paige who has an unexpected encounter with a charming transfer student named, Eddie.
Irrespective of rocky beginnings, the pair eventually become friends, and even, something more. This all changes when Paige learns “Eddie” is really Prince Edward of Denmark. But before their would-be romance comes crashing down, the pair share a few sweet moments that help to define their love story. One of which involves laundry and Shakespeare!
In honor of the marriage of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle, today we’re spotlighting a romantic moment from The Prince and Me. Though it’s simple and the setting is anything but romantic, it still manages to be sweet. Plus, today’s moment is all about Shakespeare.
The Romantic Moment: The Prince and Me
With very serious goals and a career path in her sights, Paige isn’t one of those college students looking to party. Instead, she expects only the best and holds herself to high standards. This is why when she learns she’s doing poorly in her Shakespeare class, she swallows her pride and goes to the one person who might be able to help: Eddie.
Remembering his quotation of Shakespeare, as if he were some sort of “Shakespearean-duke-lord guy,” during their second meeting, he seems the best person to ask. But when Paige does ask him, he says he’s willing to help, only first, he too needs help.
It would seem Eddie doesn’t know how to do the basic task known as laundry. As Paige teaches him about the proper use of bleach, hot and cold washes, and everything in-between, with a twinkle, Eddie queries:
“It’s just so confusing. I mean, how do you know what goes in which pile?”
A touch of sass in her tone, she replies, “It’s a gift. I guess you could say I’m the Rain Man of laundry.” Moving towards her book, she picks it up in preparation for her turn to be tutored. Opening the page, she remarks on where they are in the study. Currently, it’s Hamlet, which she says is “about a whiny prince from Denmark.”
Unimpressed by how this will help her, she wonders, “What does that have to do with reality?”
“More than you think,” Eddie replies.
Still not convinced, Paige tries to further reinforce her stance by asking, “Well, you’re from Denmark, do you even have princes?”
Withholding the truth, he simply says, “Yes, I think we do.”
The pair chats more about the story as Paige tells Eddie her friend says the prince is a “total loser.” Eddie tries to argue another perspective, one Paige doesn’t realize he can relate to, by saying the prince was facing hard choices.
Paige wears a quizzical expression as if she’s wondering how Eddie might know this.
But Eddie says nothing, and instead begins to read the sonnet.
“O me! What eyes hath love put in my head
Which have no correspondence
With true sight
Or if they have
Where is my Judgment fled
That censures falsely
What they see aright?”
At the conclusion of this reading, the opinions each has on this passage differs greatly. Eddie believes, “it’s beautiful,” and Paige thinks it’s nothing but “gibberish.”
Moaning the text and the words, she says, “I have no idea what he’s saying.”
Clearly, in his element and happy to be so, with sincere words Eddie elaborates. “Well, he’s saying that love is magical and that it makes people look at each other in an unspoiled way, without judgment.”
Still not impressed, she says, “Why doesn’t he just say that? Why can’t people just say what they mean?”
He responds by saying “that’s the interesting part…” It’s that people rarely say what they mean, and it’s really what’s “underneath the surface.” Edging closer together, he tries to break down one part for her by singling out “line 12”:
“The sun itself sees not
Till heaven clears”
He then asks her, “What does that mean to you?”
With a small smile, she says, “That the sun can’t shine when it’s cloudy.”
The two share in her simplification of the text but Eddie tells her she’s being too literal. “…don’t just go for the obvious,” he tells her, “See, all these words, they have multiple meanings, and you have to explore the possibilities and then make your choice.”
As Paige watches him read the text, his passion and belief in these words begin to sink in.
He shows her the text and demonstrates what he means. “See, like the word ‘sun,’ that could mean the actual sun, or it can mean light. But then ‘light’ can mean knowledge or reason. That could go on forever. But I think in this case it means reason. And then ‘heaven’ may refer to the pearly gates, or it could mean a state of being, you know…” Meeting her gaze, he concludes, “…like being happy or in love.” Handing over the book, he tells her, “So now read it again, taking in all the possibilities, and tell me what you think it means.”
Reading the line again, she sits a moment before reaching her conclusion. “I guess it means,” she begins, “that love blinds you. And when you’re in love, you can’t think reasonably.”
Proud of her, Eddie wears a smile in the aftermath of her conclusion as he asks, “Do you agree?”
“Yeah,” she replies with a smile. Still holding his gaze as they remain side by side, she tries to bring herself back to reality by adding, “I mean, it’s just a poem.”
Eddie responds in kind, but as the two remain there, neither one is willing to break away from this quiet moment. It’s clear to both, though the words go unspoken, through the words of Shakespeare, something has begun to stir in their hearts.
From here, this couple’s love story is only beginning. There are kisses goodnight at the lady’s door, deli sandwiches, and butterflies. Through it all, the romance of Eddie and Paige remains charming and sweet, just like this moment in which they begin to open their hearts to the question of “What if?”
Have you seen The Prince and Me? Did you like it? What are some of your favorite royal romance stories? Sound off below in the comments! I look forward to chatting with you all.