To my surprise, I enjoyed this film even more than its prequel. It is a "G" rated film, so the plot is fairly simple and straightforward with a lot of light comedic touches. This is a film that will appeal to young and old alike, even though its targeted audience appears to be young girls.
This film picks up where the first one left off. Mia Thermopolis, Princess of Genovia (Anne Hathaway) has just graduated from college and is now twenty-one years of age. Her mother has married her high school teacher, and they are expecting a baby. Her best friend, Lilly Moscovitz (Heather Matarazzo) is now a student at UCLA at Berkeley. Mia's grandmother, Clarisse Renaldi (Julie Andrews), is still Queen of Genovia but plans to step down at year's end so that Mia can be crowned the new Queen. Joseph (Hector Elizondo) is still head of security for Queen Clarisse with whom he is still in love.
When Princess Mia returns to Genovia upon graduation, together with her pampered black and white cat, Fat Louie, she gets ready to assume her exalted position. Unfortunately, Viscount Maybrey (John Rhys-Davies) throws a monkey wrench into the plan, citing an age old law that requires would be Queens to marry within thirty days or forfeit the right to wear the crown as Queen. Of course, should she be unable to do so, Viscount Maybrey's nephew, Lord Nicholas Devereaux (Chris Pine), is next in line for the throne and would then be crowned King of Genovia, a young and handsome man whom Mia has already met at the formal reception welcoming her to Genovia.
Let the Games begin! As Mia and Clarisse hunt for a suitable husband, Viscount Maybrey schemes to ensure that the crown passes to his nephew.
Mia and Clarisse finally come up with a suitable arranged marriage prospect from England, Lord Andrew Jacoby (Callum Blue). The only questions are whether or not Mia will go through with the arranged marriage or whether she will fall in love with the handsome Lord Devereaux. Mia will undergo many funny and trying situations, as she tries to decide what to do. Will she follow her head or her heart? The fates, however, will also have their say. Of course, Queen Clarisse has her own issues, as she tries to decide what to do about Joseph, the man she has always loved, and who also loves her.
Anne Hathaway is, as always, perfectly delightful and beautiful in every scene. She has a fresh-faced naiveté that perfectly suits the role of Princess Mia. Julie Andrew is, of course, totally charming and perfectly regal as the lovely Queen Clarisse. A seemingly svelte John Rhys-Davies, however, almost steals the show as the diabolical Viscount Maybrey. Chris Pine is a little wooden as the hunky, Lord Devereaux. I miss Lilly's brother, Michael (Robert Schwartzman), the handsome, good guy who won Mia's heart in the prequel. Callum Blue is perfect as the pleasant and polite Lord Andrew Jacoby. Hector Elizondo is marvelous in the role of the faithful Joseph. Heather Matarazzo has a few brief winning moments in the film, looking out for Mia's interests, after she travels to Genovia as a surprise for Mia. It was also nice to see Tom Poston in the small role of Lord Palimore.
Garry Marshall does an excellent job in directing the cast, keeping the mood of the film light and playful throughout. This is a film that is really squeaky clean, so parents can rest assure that it really is suitable for children of all ages, although young girls are the ones that will adore this fairytale of a film.