A fairytale dreamland. A Princess. Prince Charming. A stunning castle. Once again, Disney used the formula and got it right. In the adorable sequel to 2001's The Princess Diaries,"Anne Hathaway returns as Amelia Minonette Thermopolis Renaldi. She's still gawky, she's still clumsy, but she's now turning 21 years old and is a bit more mature.
A recent graduate of Princeton, Mia is now moving to Genovia to learn how to rule; her grandmother Queen Clarisse Renaldi (Julie Andrews, in a wonderful reprisal role) will have to teach her poise, decorum and diplomacy before stepping down as queen of Genovia, so Mia can be crowned. Best friend Lily (Heather Matarazzo) is attending Berkeley, and Mia and Lily's brother Michael (Robert Schwartzman) are now just friends, as Michael is off touring the country with his band. When Mia arrives in Genovia only to learn that another person is eligible for her crown, and that by Parliament's rule she must marry before 30 days is up or forfeit her crown, she is stunned! Mia has always wanted to marry for love, and who can possibly expect someone to fall in love in just 30 days?
In Mia's search for an eligible Prince Charming she comes across a lovely young man named Andrew Jacoby (Callum Blue) from England, who is perfect for her in every way: but can she love him? Another is in her path as well: a guy named Nicholas (Chris Pine), with whom she dances briefly at her birthday ball (she flirts with him mildly). When Mia discovers shortly thereafter that "Sir" Nicholas is actually THE Lord Devereaux that is trying to steal her crown, she is quite upset! Nicholas's evil uncle Viscount Mabrey (Jonathan Rhys-Davies) is determined that his nephew should rule Genovia -- after all, Nicholas was born and raised in Genovia, and knows more about the people than "the American born" Mia ever could.
With time running out and pressure from all sides for this "arranged marriage", Mia must overcome a few large obstacles: she must familiarize herself with the long-standing traditions of Genovia (such as shoot a flaming arrow through a ring on the night before her coronation), as well as learn how to be politic in dealing with sticky situations. Falling into a fountain, nearly shooting many people with arrows, stamping her heel on a young man's foot, climbing down ivy from her window and much more could hardly be considered ladylike behavior: but who has time to be genteel and ladylike when you only have 30 days to fall in love and marry?
In Disney style, this G offering has very little objectionable content: there is no bad language to speak of. There is a moment where a girl and a guy wake up together under a tree, but it is adamantly declared that nothing has happened. There is mild flirting, a few temper tantrums (understandable ones), and little else. This movie is so clean, that I would encourage you to take young children to see it! Some may say that it comes off flat and boring, but I didn't find it so. It wasn't quite as funny as I expected or as fast-paced as the first, but the storyline is simply adorable, and what I heard termed once as "gentle fun." Anne Hathaway gives another great performance as the oft-clumsy Mia; Julie Andrews is positively charming as always as the elegant and refined Queen of Genovia, and even regales us with a tune in this film: every bit of the price of admission is worth it, just for this. The other actors do a fine job as well, pulling off a cute and not-too-cheesy Disney fairy tale sequel.
And of course, what kind of fairy tale would this be if Mia and her Prince Charming didn't live happily ever after, so of course, you can expect a happy ending: but WHICH Prince Charming she will choose is an entirely different matter altogether!