Fans won over by the sweet, modest charms of THE PRINCESS DIARIES (2001) are unlikely to be swept off their feet by this good-natured but overstuffed sequel. Five years after down-to-earth American high-school girl Mia Thermopolis' (Anne Hathaway) discovery of her royal genealogy, the 21-year-old princess has earned her college degree and is prepared to ascend to the throne of tiny Genovia. Her grandmother, Queen Clarisse (Julie Andrews), has had enough of the day-to-day trials of ruling and is ready to hand over her title to her only heir. But there's a hitch: Persnickety parliamentarians deliver a not-so-gentle reminder that Genovia's laws clearly state that a woman must be married in order to take the crown, leaving Mia a 30-day deadline by which to find and wed her prince charming. After dancing with Genovia's eligible bachelors at her birthday party, only one comes close to making Mia's heart go pitter-patter. But she's furious to learn that her sexy suitor, Nicholas (Chris Pine), is actually Sir Nicholas, the nephew of a scheming viscount (John Rhys-Davies) who intends to gain control of Genovia by exploiting Nicholas' distant connection to the throne. Despite Mia's staunch belief in true love, she agrees to an arranged marriage with the suitable and stable Andrew (Callum Blue) for her family's sake. Predictably, the clumsy but big-hearted princess takes a few missteps en route to the altar that the nosy, royal-chasing paparazzi are only too happy to gossip about. Meanwhile, Clarisse has man troubles of her own: Her loyal and adoring head of security, Joe (Hector Elizondo), requests that they make their relationship public. The sweetly mismatched chemistry between Hathaway and Andrews is intact, evident in their easy banter as Hathaway's modern Mia continues to receive lessons in old-world deportment and proper behavior, and the film benefits from a strong supporting cast, especially Mia's loyal best pal, Lilly (Heather Matarazzo), and ditzy but dutiful handmaidens Briggitte and Brigitta (Shea Curry, Anna White). But director Garry Marshall squeezes in too many unnecessary characters from the original film like Larry Miller's makeover maven and Mia's almost-forgotten mother (Caroline Goodall) without giving them anything to do, and shoehorns in a duet between Queen Clarisse and visiting Princess Asana (Raven) that does nothing to further the sluggish story and looks for all the world like a flimsy excuse to showcase the teeny-bopper star of the Disney Channel's That's So Raven.
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- Released: 2004
- Rating: G
- Review: Fans won over by the sweet, modest charms of THE PRINCESS DIARIES (2001) are unlikely to be swept off their feet by this good-natured but overstuffed sequel. Five years after down-to-earth American high-school girl Mia Thermopolis' (Anne Hathaway) discover… (more)