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Mean Mr Mustard's review of THE PRINCE AND ME says it don't suck!

Hey folks, Harry here... I've been a fan of Julia Stiles since WICKED premiered at Sundance. Unfortunately that edit of the film has never really been seen anywhere else, but trust me... it kicked all sorts of ass. Many seem to take whacks at her, but I think she has a wonderfully haunted look, that gives her a distant feeling. As for this story... it sounds like Disney crap... but apparently it's coming from Lion's Gate and Paramount and allegedly works really well... And because Martha Coolidge directed VALLEY GIRL which owns every single one of you... Give her a chance! This one hits next March... let's keep our eye on it!

Harry, Moriarty,

Mean Mr. Mustard is back.

I saw the very first test screening of The Prince and Me last week and I've been wanting to write something up about this charmer of a film and I just haven't gotten around to doing so until now.

Now a plot summery of the film will not exactly do the film justice because on paper it will sound like every other romantic comedy that we've seen before, but it's just done so well that I can actually forget this flaw.

Think The Prince William story meets The Princess Grace (Kelly) story.  Prince Frederick of Denmark (Luke Mably) is rebellion against his parents, the King and Queen of Denmark (Miranda Richardson and James Fox). He decides to try and "find himself" by getting away from Denmark and passing himself off as a foreign exchange student at a Midwest University in the United States where no one will recognize him. Paige (Julia Stiles) is a senior at an Indiana university who is studying pre-med. They first meet at the local college watering hole where Paige works and she has an instant dislike for Frederick. She then discovers that her and Frederick are lab partners in an advanced chemistry class she's required to take. Frederick then uses his connection with Paige to get a job at the above-mentioned watering hole. As in all romantic comedies, we know that opposites attract, and Paige invites Frederick to spend the thanksgiving holidays at her parent's farm in Wisconsin. At the farm, Fredrick is a fish out of water, struggling with the chores of the farm but he soon learns the rules, work and joy of farm life thanks in part to Paige's older brothers. Soon it's reviled by tabloid reporters who Fredrick really is and Fredrick comes clean to Paige. Paige then follows Fredrick to Denmark where she is now the fish out of water, not accustomed to the life of monarchs and servants, but soon learns, thanks in part to the Queen who mentors the spunky tomboyish Paige into a princess. Yes, it sounds sappy, syrupy and clichéd, but again, it's just done so well. The script is by Katherine Fugate and while yes, it has all of the conventions of a Romantic Comedy, the two leads are smartly written and there is some great sparkling dialog and banter between Paige and Edward.

The Direction by Martha Coolidge (Real Genius, Out to Sea, Rambling Rose, Lost in Yonkers, Valley Girl) is first rate. This is by far Coolidge's best film yet.

The casting is also a very crucial reason to this film's success. How many Romantic Comedies in the last few years have you seen where there was zero chemistry between the leads?  Trust me, Julia and Luke have chemistry. Lot's of it.

If someone like Mandy More had played Paige, it would have been the teenybopper flick of the week. Someone like Kate Hudson and it would have been the bland Romantic Comedy flick of the week. Julia Stiles is just perfect and she deserves credit for underplaying and restraining her role which in turn makes Paige seem like a real character- a rarity in modern romantic comedies. And Luke Mably gives a star making performance. He has the charm, grace, and swagger of a movie star.

The biggest weakness with the film is the title. The Prince and Me sounds blah…People will think it's The Princess Diary 2 which it is not. I have a suggestion for this. There is a crucial scene in the film that takes place in the college watering hole. Paige puts a quarter in a jukebox and selects a certain Tom Waits song. She is closing out the bar and softly whispering the songs lyrics as Frederick looks on in amazement. It's a great, great scene. Later on in the film…this same exact song pops up again in a clever way. This song should be the title of the film.   

Mean Mr. Mustard Out 

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