tek's rating: ¾

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (G)
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Caution: spoilers.

This is the sequel to The Princess Diaries. It came out in 2004 (three years after the first movie), but I didn't see it until 2022 (one year after I saw the first movie). I wasn't sure what category to put my review in. Unlike the first movie, it couldn't be "coming of age". Wikipedia calls is a romantic comedy, so that's what I decided to go with, though I didn't find it particularly romantic. I suppose the romance is an important plot device, though.

It starts with some narration by Princess Mia, as an entry in her diary. She's just graduated university, and moves to Genovia. Her grandmother, Queen Clarisse, is planning on retiring soon, at which point Mia will become the new queen. Though she still has some things to learn first. However, a viscount and member of parliament named Mabrey (John Rhys-Davies) has machinations whereby he plans to install his nephew, Lord Nicholas Deveraux (Chris Pine), as king, instead of Mia. There's an obscure Genovian law that says a woman cannot become queen unless she's married, and Mabrey takes advantage of that. Parliament (including one member played by Tom Poston from Newhart) gives Mia one month to find and marry a suitable man. She soon ends up engaged to a duke named Andrew Jacoby, who is a pretty nice guy, but there's no sparks between him and Mia. But Mia is determined to do whatever she has to to become the next ruler of Genovia. Meanwhile, Mabrey has Nicholas try to woo Mia away from Andrew, only to leave her at the last minute so she'd miss the deadline. For most of the movie, that doesn't go very well, but eventually she does fall for Nicholas. I'm not at all sure when or why she stopped hating him and started liking him, because it seemed to me like in one scene she didn't like him and in the next she did. But anyway, once she starts liking him, their relationship begins to blossom, even though she's still determined to marry Andrew. And eventually there's a misunderstanding that makes her hate Nicholas again.

Well, I don't want to say exactly how it ends, but of course everything turns out for the best. Meanwhile, there's plenty of other stuff going on throughout the movie. Joe is hoping to marry Clarisse once she retires. Mia is visited by her best friend, Lilly. She also has a bachelorette party with a bunch of princesses, including Asana (Raven), with whom she was already friends. (This made me wonder if I'd just forgotten about her from the first movie, but she wasn't in it. So I don't know when or how they became friends in the years between movies.) There's also one point when Mia helps out some orphans, including a young girl named Carolina. While watching the movie I thought, "She reminds me of Abigail Breslin, but surely the girl is too young to be her." But later when I looked online, I found that it was Breslin, which just accentuates how late I am in watching this movie. There's also a cameo by Stan Lee, for some reason. (I feel like that foreshadowed Disney buying Marvel Studios.) There's also a gossip reporter named Elsie something or other (the internet seems unsure of her last name), whose reports can be troublesome for Mia. (She has a Scottish accent that reminded me of Rowena from Supernatural, but it wasn't her.) Oh, and Mia has a pair of ladies-in-waiting named Brigitte and Brigitta, who are kind of funny.

I guess I don't know what else to say. It took me awhile to get into the movie (I really didn't care for the opening narration, which was all exposition). But it wasn't too long before I started liking it. I never liked it quite as much as the first movie, which I also liked a lot less than some movies I watch. But both movies are alright. I had a reasonable degree of fun watching this, and if a third movie gets made, I'm sure I'll want to see it.

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