Toon Talk: Princess Diaries 2 Review
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Disney Film & Video Reviews by Kirby C. Holt
From Genovia With Love
Anne Hathaway continues her winning streak after the first film and the recent Ella Enchanted with this Royal Engagement; even more so then previously, she carries herself like a gamine amalgamation of Audrey Hepburn and Lucille Ball, as if those two screen legends collided head-on, with her lithe form as a result. She effortlessly carries the film with an effortless poise, but not above a geekette relapse or two, and avoids lapsing into the dangerously overt commercialism of the recent roles of, sadly, Lindsay Lohan.
Chapter 2 begins with Mia, at age eighteen, returning to Genovia to claim the crown following the reign of her paternal grandmother, Queen Clarice (Julie Andrews, as luminescent as ever â€¦ what else can one say?). But parliamentary politics complicate matters when it is revealed that Mia has a rival for the throne, and the only way she can truly become Queen is if she marries â€¦ immediately. Behind all these Machiavellian mechanizations is Viscount Mabrey, played with a dastardly twirl of his moustache by The Lord of the Ringsâ€™ John Rhys-Davies, who aspires to rule Genovia through his young nephew, Sir Nicholas (newcomer Chris Pine).
Of course, Nicholas is a â€śhottieâ€? on his own, which only complicates Miaâ€™s attempts to find, with the aide of Clarice, best friend Lilly (Heather Matarazzo) and the Queenâ€™s ever present aide-de-camp (and secret paramour) Joe (Hector Elizondo), a suitable suitor to fulfill the parliamentsâ€™ wishes, not to mention Miaâ€™s own happiness and sense of duty. (Also on hand, in small roles, are a pair of perky ladyâ€™s maids that are a hoot themselves, plus a visiting African princess played by Thatâ€™s So Synergistic Raven.)