The Princess Diaries
The Princess Diaries isn't so much a modern-day fairy tale as it is a dramatization of every little girl's chiffon dream: to be a princess. The film is from director Garry Marshall, who specializes in fantasies without consequences. As is his m.o., Marshall takes a stale plot and explores it in a thoroughly uninteresting way, reducing characters to types and heaping mounds of saccharine and false sentiment on top in a vain attempt to disguise the bland flavor. To be effective, many movies require the viewer to engage in a willing suspension of disbelief. For The Princess Diaries to work, the viewer will have to engage in a willing suspension of higher brain activity.
If brevity is the soul of wit, then Marshall is witless. Not only is his latest motion picture an affront to any thinking adult （its target group is apparently pre-teen girls）， but it seems to drag on forever. Marshall's motto seems to be: Never do in 80 or 90 minutes what can be done in 2 hours! And, to make things even worse, the editing appears to have been done with a hacksaw. Never can I recall seeing so many jarring cuts. As for the continuity goofs （of which there are many） - they probably would have been more obvious if the stupidity of the story hadn't camouflaged them so effectively.
The Princess Diaries is essentially a re-telling of Marshall's own Pretty Woman, which, in turn, was just a lame updating of Pygmalion. One day, Mia Thermopolis （Anne Hathaway） is a normal 16 year-old girl living in San Francisco. The next, she learns that she's the granddaughter of Queen Clarisse Renaldi （Julie Andrews）， the ruler of the small （and fictional） European country of Genovia. And, because her late father was Clarisse's only child, that makes Mia the Crown Princess. So, in preparation for her investment as heir, she has to endure Princess Training 101, with lessons in everything from speech to etiquette, all while continuing to attend school. But word leaks out of her heritage and she becomes an instant celebrity. Suddenly, she's Miss Popularity and the coolest guy in school （Terry Wayne） wants to hang out with her. But, while caught up in this giddy wave of being the center of attention, will she turn her back on her best friend, Lilly （Heather Matarazzo） and the boy who really likes her （Michael Moscovitz）？ Take a guess.
The best performances in The Princess Diaries border on the low side of mediocre. No one stands out, and some of the actors should be embarrassed. I give Julie Andrews credit for being able to deliver most of her dialogue with a straight face,