The Prince And Me

**1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

How many times have you heard the words, "The title says it all"?

Well, listen this time. Because it's true.

The Prince is Edvard of Denmark. Me is Paige Morgan, a farmer's daughter from Wisconsin. The plot has been stencilled into your unconscious ever since Whathisness married the air hostess and that other son of a king locked rings with a TV presenter. Commoner meets royalty and they fall in love. Wow! Is that still news?

The best thing about Martha Coolidge's film is Julia Stiles, who reworks her role in Save The Last Dance, where she played an aspiring ballerina who went to a South Side Chicago high school and had to cope with hip hop dance moves and ghetto black culture. Here, she plays an aspiring med student who goes to college and has to cope with a Scandinavian prince, masquerading as an arrogantly stupid foreigner, called Eddie.

The budding romance is seriously flawed because she's far too sensible to be hanging around with this handsome hunk of aristocratic mind mulch. Everything you expect happens, except she doesn't take her top off and he doesn't give it all up and become a racing driver.

James Fox plays Eddie's dad, with the well-oiled precision of a Purdey 12-bore, and the wondrous Miranda Richardson is completely wasted as the queen, not that she fails in her duties, but why's she here in the first place? What's the opposite of slumming it? Toffing it?

Luke Mably has the startled spaniel eyes of the Duke of Wessex, with Prince William's rangy leanness. His task is unenviable, to appear bored of his heritage without being unsympathetic, totally lacking in imagination without appearing dull and somehow sexy without the benefit of personality. It's a hard call and he misses it.

Stiles takes the film by the scruff and shakes it about a bit, opens the windows to let in fresh air and makes you believe that there is a girl called Paige, working in a student bar, who wants to be a doctor in the Third World.

"He's a good kisser," Paige says of Eddie.

She must be lying and yet someone like Paige doesn't lie about that kind of stuff. Because you respect her, you think, "Hang on a cotton pickin' minute, does that mean His Royal Wetness might have bedroom talents?"

It doesn't bear thinking about.

Reviewed on: 16 Jul 2004
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Farm girl from Wisconsin falls in love with the prince of Denmark (no, not that one).
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Director: Martha Coolidge

Writer: Jack Amiel, Michael Begler, Katherine Fugate

Starring: Julia Stiles, Luke Mably, Ben Miller, James Fox, Miranda Richardson, Eliza Bennett, Alberta Watson, John Bourgeois

Year: 2004

Runtime: 111 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US/Czech Republic

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