In 2017, “A Christmas Prince” became an instant hit that Netflix subscribers like me watched over and over again. A few weeks after the movie dropped, Netflix said that 53 people watched the film every day for two weeks. In May, just in time for Meghan Markle’s wedding to prince Harry, Netflix announced that the sequel, “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding,” would come to the service during the 2018 holiday season.
The first movie tells the story of Amber, a young aspiring journalist who cons her way into living with the royal family of the fictional country Aldovia, to get a story about the scandalous Prince Richard, who is about to take the throne. It is Christmastime. Long story short, Amber and Richard fall in love. Everyone finds out about Amber’s true identity and they’re mad for a few minutes, but then it’s fine. Amber and Richard get engaged at the end of the movie, which means Amber will be the queen of Aldovia.
And that is really all you need to know about “A Christmas Prince” before watching the sequel, “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding,” which is just as dumb and fun, but not quite as good as the original. You do not need to watch the first movie to understand the sequel, but you’ll probably want to once it’s over.
Why you should watch: because it is dumb, but also great.
“The Royal Wedding” is an addictive movie that will make you cancel your social life, because you must watch it every single night for two weeks. To understand this, let me just explain the basic plot of the movie without spoilers. The story starts off about a year after the events of the first movie. And yes, I know you’re upset about missing almost 365 days of exciting content between Amber and Richard and the whole gang during this particular period. But don’t worry!
After a few necessary shots of iconic Christmas decorations across New York City that do not picture the massive amounts of crowds surrounding them in real life, the movie jumps right into a montage. This montage catches the audience up on the most boring, but somehow also the greatest couple ever depicted on the small screen! It mostly consists of Amber and Richard flying back and forth to visit each other between Aldovia and New York. But it also explains the rapid growth of Amber’s fame: Amber is going to be a queen of a small country in Europe, so obviously people are lining up in front of her dad’s diner to get her autograph.
In the midst of all the craziness, Amber is incredibly busy blogging. And also Amber and Richard are getting married in Aldovia on Christmas day, because this franchise is called “A Christmas Prince.” After the montage is over, Amber and her father, Rudy, fly to Aldovia to prep for the festivities.
What’s hot: Simon (the villain from the first movie) is back and he wants your forgiveness.
You may remember Simon more fondly as Lord Duxbury, the primary villain in the first movie who tried to steal the crown away from Richard. He is back, but he lost all of his money (and his Ferrari) in his divorce to Sophia, who helped him with the clumsy attempt to steal the crown of Aldovia. Simon, who goes through an endearing redemption arc and has a five o’clock shadow now, is the best thing about the movie. And his dramatic return to Aldovia is the best movie moment of 2018 (apologies to Thor landing on Wakanda in “Infinity War,” but this is better).
Amber’s journalistic integrity has improved significantly in the sequel, which makes me wonder if Netflix read this article I wrote last year and really listened. And at one point in the movie, she threatens to shoot someone with a bow and arrow. She’s grown a lot since 2017!
What’s not: It takes itself a little too seriously, and there’s one problematic character.
The story takes a rather dark turn compared to the first movie, whose most dramatic moment was an absurd encounter with wolves. But in order to give Amber an opportunity to do journalism, the story gets political, and it’s a bit of a drag.
As king of a country that has a prime minister and government, Richard, for some reason, is responsible for government stuff. In most monarchies, like the royal family in the U.K. (even in “The Princess Diaries” monarchy of Genovia), monarchies have a largely ceremonial role, involving only nominal authority or power. But Richard is involved in money, and is hated by Aldovians because his initiative to bring the small country into the 21st century is costing money and jobs. Amber, being a suspicious, professional blogger and former journalist for Now beat magazine, follows the money and discovers a conspiracy. It’s fine, and the plot has some moments, but overall it takes itself too seriously compared to the first movie.
Sahil, an Indian designer takes over Amber’s wedding. Unfortunately, he’s sloppily written, and is a collection of a handful of stereotypes. Thankfully, his presence dwindles down toward the end of the movie, but it really brings down the quality of the movie.
The bottom line: It isn’t as magical as the first, but you’ll get addicted to it anyway.
Despite a number of flaws that take away from what everyone loved (or loved to hate) about the original, “Royal Wedding”- which has exactly the right amount of Simon and investigative journalism – will still become a classic that you’ll watch over and over and over and over again until the holiday season is complete. And even that probably won’t stop you.
You can watch “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding” on Netflix now. Watch the trailer below:
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