The Princess Diaries 2: the Royal Engagement (U)
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Time Out saysOnce upon a time every little girl dreamed of being a princess. These days, they’re more likely to dream of being celebrities, so this sequel duly mixes tiaras and ball gowns with paparazzi and public-image concerns. The worries start when American-raised Princess Mia (Anne Hathaway), discovers she must marry before taking the throne of Genovia. Settling on a dull English gent, she finds herself annoyingly attracted to caddish aristo Nicholas Devereaux, who’s after her throne. Should she put public responsibility before her own happiness?
This sings a similar song to ‘The Princess Diaries’, but is slightly more in tune. The predictable plot is tighter and better-paced and at least half the supporting characters amuse, with Queen Julie Andrews’ exaggerated poise complementing Hathaway’s goofy physical comedy.
Admittedly, the fictional setting is ridiculous and bursts of sickly Disney sentiment overstep the mark. Pre-teens and undemanding romantics, however, shouldn’t find these negatives in their bid for button-pushing escapism.