A familiar story, told with charm
Martha Coolidge's The Prince & Me tells the story of an oh-so-common occurrence among college-aged girls: They go off to school, meet the man of their dreams, and he turns out to be the prince of a European nation. At least, that's how it happens in the movies.
Paige Morgan (Julia Stiles) is a young woman from the heartland, raised on a Wisconsin dairy farm. Paige plans to be a veterinarian, but also wants to see the world. The itinerary of her life is changed when she meets and falls for Prince Edvard "Eddie" Dangaard (Luke Mably), Denmark's heir to the throne. The prince has enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, hoping to find the kind of American girl popularized in Girls Gone Wild videos.
While the plot seems routine, Katherine Fugate's story contains subtleties and circumstances that ground it in reality, making it far more engaging. Paige is particularly strong and determined, and her initial aversion to Prince Eddie is entirely believable. Eddie proves to be something of a cad, but as he matures, he becomes more sympathetic, and we end up hoping Paige gives him another shot. And, of course, she does. Even then, the story takes an unexpected twist.
Strong support is given by veterans Miranda Richardson and James Fox as Eddie's royal parents, as well as Ben Miller as his acerbic valet. Stiles gives her usual strong performance, determined yet vulnerable to love, and Mably proves to be a pleasant surprise. His explanation of Shakespearean sonnets would make any girl leave the cows of Wisconsin behind in a heartbeat.
Though Prince goes down a well-traveled road, it's redeemed by Fugate's engaging and the undeniable chemistry between its two young leads.
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