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December 13, 2019

Princess Switch (2018) --- "Life Is What Happens To You While You're Busy Making Other Plans."


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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     At the encouragement of her sous chef and best friend, Kevin (Nick Sagar), Chicago baker and extreme planner Stacy De Novo (Vanessa Hudgens) takes a spontaneous trip to the charming land of Belgravia to compete in the Royal Christmas Baking Competition. While preparing for the contest, Stacy runs into the free-spirited but royally obligated Duchess Margaret Delacourt (also played by Hudgens) who wants nothing more than to experience a “normal life” before she dutifully marries Belgravia’s Prince Edward (Sam Palladio). Upon the discovery that the two look identical, the girls decide to swap places for a few days so that they can see what it’s like to live in each other’s shoes. However, things become complicated when Margaret starts to fall for Stacy’s co-worker and the Prince decides to make last-minute changes to his itinerary, allowing him to spend more time with his “future bride.” Will these two get their happily ever after? Or will they be forced to return to their “mundane” lives?
     Directed by Mike Rohl (Shadowhunters, Supernatural) and written by Robin Bernheim (The Princess Switch: Switched Again) and Megan Metzger (The Princess Switch: Switched Again), Netflix’s The Princess Switch (2018) is a romantic comedy that is sure to make you smile. Now Netflix’s Christmas films carry the same formula. The characters spend most of the film either hating each other or beating around the bush but then come to a quick end with them confessing their undying love for each other followed by an impromptu Christmas wedding. But in a The Parent Trap meets Monte Carlo meets Hallmark Christmas rom-com, The Princess Switch stays true to Netflix’ Christmas formula but also manages to make something that is it's own. Of course, this is by no means a perfect film. The story spends way too much time on Stacy then it does on Margaret and not enough character development is given to the rest of the characters. But like a pair of old slippers or a sentimental blanket, The Princess Switch is comforting and delivers what it promised to do.
     Although the story is not overly innovative or extraordinary, the cast performances are incredible. Vanessa Hudgens (The Knight Before Christmas) expertly portrays both characters in a way that highlights their differences and similarities. Although her English accent is not the greatest imitation, you have to remember that accents can be tricky and she is earnest in efforts to move as far away from Stacy’s noticeable American accent. In addition, the story spends more time on Stacy then it does are Margaret and perhaps this helps sell the idea that two different actresses are portraying the two characters. The supporting cast does a great job with their respective performances. Alexa Adeosun (The Athena) is cute as the spunky Olivia and Nick Sagar (Shadowhunters, Queen of the South) is great and is able to clearly show a difference between his friendly chemistry with Stacy and his romantic chemistry with Margaret. Sam Palladio (Nashville, Catharine the Great) shines as Prince Edward whose life is turned upside down by the spunky and easy-going American baker with the heart of gold, and his chemistry with Hudgens as both characters is great.
     Overall, The Princess Switch (2018) is a fun and heartfelt rom-com that may be very predictable but is no less comforting and entertaining. The story takes inspiration from a number of films and delivers what is promised it would, and the cast performances were great all around. If you enjoyed other Netflix Christmas films like Christmas Inheritance and the A Christmas Prince series then I highly recommend that you check out this film too. 

Final Vote --- 6 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar
Christmas Inheritance (2017)
A Christmas Prince (2017)
A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (2018)
A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby (2019)
Christmas Wedding Planner (2017)
A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish (2019)
Holiday Calendar (2018)
Holiday Wild (2019)
The Knight Before Christmas (2019)
The Princess Switch (2018)

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