Here’s the scoop on ‘A Christ­mas Prince: The Royal Wed­ding’

The se­quel to last year’s sur­prise Net­flix hit, ‘A Christ­mas Prince,’ is cheesy, knows it — and pos­i­tively rev­els in it

The Niagara Falls Review - - Arts & Life - EMILY YAHR

It is quite dif­fi­cult to keep track of all the cheesy, made-for-tele­vi­sion hol­i­day movies re­leased this time of year — but it cer­tainly helps if one of them goes vi­ral.

Thanks to that creepy tweet from Net­flix last year, in which the stream­ing be­he­moth re­minded ev­ery­one it’s con­stantly watch­ing and an­a­lyz­ing your view­ing data, “A Christ­mas Prince” be­came some­thing of an in­ter­net sen­sa­tion. The movie wasn’t good — in fact, it was kind of ter­ri­ble. But like all good TV movies, that made it even more fun to watch.

Nat­u­rally, Net­flix com­mis­sioned a se­quel: “A Christ­mas Prince: The Royal Wed­ding,” which started stream­ing Fri­day. Here’s ev­ery­thing you need to know:

1. The main play­ers are back — for the most part

For those who can’t re­mem­ber, the gist of the orig­i­nal “A Christ­mas Prince”: A frus­trated New York jour­nal­ist named Am­ber (Rose McIver of The CW’s “iZom­bie”) ar­rived in the lovely coun­try of Al­dovia, de­ter­mined to get a scoop that would im­press her ed­i­tors and fi­nally get her a pro­mo­tion. Am­ber’s task was to re­port on Prince Richard (also known as “His Royal Hot­ness,” played by Ben Lamb of “The White Queen”), who might ab­di­cate the throne af­ter his fa­ther’s death and throw the whole coun­try into chaos.

Am­ber was mis­taken for Richard’s younger sis­ter’s tu­tor, so she found her­self with the un­der­cover scoop of a life­time. Nat­u­rally, she wound up fall­ing for Richard (be­cause that’s what fe­male jour­nal­ists do in movies), and he was very hurt when he found out her true iden­tity. But then ev­ery­thing was fine. He for­gave her. And Richard be­came king and pro­posed to Am­ber; if you don’t fall in love and get en­gaged in about 72 hours in th­ese movies, you’re do­ing some­thing wrong.

Any­way, nearly ev­ery­one has re­turned: Am­ber; Richard; Richard’s lit­tle sis­ter, Emily; Richard’s mother, Queen Helena; Richard’s trou­ble­mak­ing cousin, Si­mon; etc. How­ever, Am­ber’s fa­ther has been re­cast — and out­fit­ted with a much campier per­son­al­ity, play­ing up his Brook­lyn, N.Y., roots and be­ing an ex­tremely em­bar­rass­ing dad as Am­ber tries to im­press the roy­als.

“We’re gonna burn the house down, kiddo!” he says ju­bi­lantly as he first ar­rives at the palace.

Am­ber hur­ries to as­sure the royal fam­ily: “He didn’t mean that lit­er­ally.”

2. There’s re­ally no need to catch up on the first movie

With­out giv­ing all the “plot” de­tails away, we can as­sure you that if you missed the first “A Christ­mas Prince,” you prob­a­bly won’t have a dif­fi­cult time catch­ing up. The 90-minute se­quel takes place ex­actly a year af­ter the last movie ended, as the palace is in a frenzy for Richard and Am­ber’s com­ing wed­ding on Christ­mas Day.

How­ever, there are some dark sub­plots: Al­dovia is in a fi­nan­cial cri­sis. Am­ber sud­denly re­al­izes that yes, be­com­ing a mem­ber of a royal fam­ily means your en­tire life be­longs to them. Oh, and Princess Emily’s Christ­mas play is briefly in trou­ble, though that jam is par­tic­u­larly low-stakes.

3. There are a few call­backs

For diehard fans, you’ll rec­og­nize more than a few el­e­ments. Some plot points are re­peated: For ex­am­ple, Am­ber’s bossy wed­ding plan­ner steals a cab at the air­port, just as Richard stole Am­ber’s cab last time. Am­ber’s dad makes her favourite menu items from his diner, a “Coney Is­land Blood­hound” (a hot­dog) and a “Blonde With Sand” (cof­fee with cream and sugar).

Plus, the movie writ­ers were def­i­nitely lis­ten­ing to all of the ways that peo­ple made fun of the orig­i­nal. Am­ber was em­ployed at the mag­a­zine Now Beat, a name that re­ceived plenty of mock­ery — or was it Beat Now? No one on the in­ter­net could tell. In the se­quel, there’s sim­i­lar con­fu­sion, as Am­ber and her for­mer co­work­ers talk about how Now

Beat folded.

“Now Beat?” Am­ber said, and then defini­tively an­swered: “It was Beat Now.”

4. There are some par­al­lels to real-life roy­als

Am­ber has a few things in com­mon with Meghan Markle, also an Amer­i­can who mar­ried into a royal fam­ily. Sim­i­lar to Markle, Am­ber has a blog, al­beit with the un­cre­ative ti­tle Am­ber’s Blog. A ma­jor theme in the movie is how all sorts of peo­ple are wor­ry­ing about Am­ber break­ing “pro­to­col,” be­cause she doesn’t want to lose her own iden­tity. We have a feel­ing this might sound fa­mil­iar to some new mem­bers of the real-life palace.


Rose McIver and Ben Lamb find love — love! — in A Christ­mas Prince: A Royal Wed­ding.

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