The Princess Diaries

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A passable 'make-over' movie from the director of Pretty Woman, this introduces Hathaway as a San Francisco schoolgirl shocked to hear that she's in line for the throne of Genovia. It's fast track Pygmalion time, as Queen Renaldi, her new royal grandmother (Andrews), sets about teaching deportment, etiquette and waving to commoners. But wasn't she happy enough sharing the wacky ex-fire station with her artist single mother in their balanced post-hippy paradise? And isn't the timing bad, now that her best pal's sweet-natured brother Michael (Schwartzman) has started making bashful eyes at her from beneath his Beatles mop? Marshall has described Hathaway as a 'combination of Audrey Hepburn, Judy Garland and Julia Roberts', alluding, presumably, to her somewhat erect elegance, singing ability and piano keyboard set of teeth. Notions of responsibility, surrogacy, rites of passage and the value of friendship are gone through, but the highlighting of modern tropes merely serves to emphasise the film's conventionality.

Release details

Duration: 115 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Garry Marshall
Screenwriter: Gina Wendkos
Cast: Julie Andrews
Anne Hathaway
Heather Matarazzo
Hector Elizondo
Mandy Moore
Caroline Goodall
Robert Schwartzman
Erik von Detten
Sean O'Bryan

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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