THE PRINCESS DI­ARIES (2001)

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FMC, 1.50pm

★★ The ul­ti­mate movie for 10-yearold girls who think they are 14 go­ing on 18. Which is fit­ting in a topsy-turvy kind of way, be­cause at the time of shoot­ing, star Anne Hath­away was an 18-year-old play­ing a char­ac­ter aged 14 who acts as if she’s 10. Hath­away is school­girl Mia Ther­mopo­lis, a frizzy-haired geekess in line to rule a mi­nus­cule king­dom some­where in Europe. Frothy. L.P. There has never been a chef quite like Fer­ran Adria — the lit­tle Span­ish ge­nius be­hind elBulli, the res­tau­rant near Barcelona that was voted the world’s best, four years in suc­ces­sion. Adria is clearly a mag­nif­i­cent chef, and a cre­ative ge­nius. But watch him here — part chef, part sci­en­tist— and ask your­self one se­ri­ous ques­tion: Do I re­ally want to eat this food? The sea­son of this slice of dis­tressed an­i­mal life se­ries draws to a close tonight with an episode re­veal­ing the en­thu­si­asm of labradors for eat­ing just about any­thing placed in front of them. In this case, Archie the lab has pol­ished off enough snail bait to rid, say, an en­tire sub­urb of the slimy blighters. Poor old Archie is suf­fer­ing con­vul­sions. Just as well, then, that Dr Chris is on hand to save the day. The law takes a dim view of love, ac­cord­ing to shame­less bar­ris­ter Cleaver Greene (Richard Roxburgh), the ‘‘rake’’ of this rib­ald but en­ter­tain­ing se­ries. Tonight, the im­prob­a­ble (we must as­sume) bar­ris­ter is called upon to de­fend what re­mains of the hon­our of a celebrity chef who has mar­ried well, but per­haps too of­ten. Way too of­ten. The acreage of bare flesh flaunted is, as al­ways, gen­er­ous. Much rides on this se­ries and, cer­tainly, it looks classy enough and has mo­ments of fu­ri­ous ac­tion and a whiteknuckle ten­sion. But also, there are enough flash-backs here to in­duce clus­ter headaches, even for ex­trater­res­tri­als. Tonight, we fo­cus on Leila who has been kid­napped by very bad folk. I think. Or maybe it’s a flash­back. Or a Mar­tian. Cool, though. I think.

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