The News-Times

A generic modern fairy tale in ‘The Royal Treatment’

-

In the new Netflix movie “The Royal Treatment,” the chief of staff for the prince of a fictional European country accidental­ly calls a run-down salon in the Bronx to schedule a haircut for His Royal Highness, Prince Thomas. Upon hearing who he says he works for, Izzy, the owner of said salon replies, “Yeah, and I’m the Queen of Genovia” in a thick New York accent.

Genovia, of course, is the fictional country of “The Princess Diaries,” where Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews rule. But anyone inclined to watch “The Royal Treatment” already knew that. And its mention raises questions about whether the movie “The Princess Diaries” or the country Genovia (and by extension Princess Mia) exists in this universe. Unfortunat­ely, neither scenario is explored, but perhaps more importantl­y it suggests that this movie actually has a sense of humor

about itself which already puts it a slight cut above its peers.

The best thing going for this very generic endeavor is Laura Marano, the Disney Channel alum who plays Izzy. She’s a hairstylis­t with a heart of gold and dreams of world travel who will storm out of a $500 job when she can’t even afford the subway ride home because she sees her client disrespect­ing a domestic worker. Respect for clients, subjects and all manner of people is an overriding theme, which is hard to argue with and at least shows that this movie is trying to be a bit more than a “common girl makes good with random prince” tale.

Naturally, Prince Thomas (played by Mena Massoud, who starred in the liveaction “Aladdin”) finds Izzy to finish the

cut and invites her and her employees to Lavania to do the hair and makeup for his wedding, because the movie has to keep going somehow and neither logic nor reality seems to govern plot developmen­ts here.

Though there is some fun to be had both intentiona­lly and unintentio­nally, “The Royal Treatment,” directed by Rick Jacobson and written by Holly Hester, is no “Princess Diaries” — not even close. Nor is it a “good movie” but that also assumes that it’s possible to judge “good” and “bad” in this very strange and specific kind of Hallmark Channel-style modern fairy tale.

“The Royal Treatment,” a Netflix release available Friday, has not been rated by the Motion Picture Associatio­n of America. Running time: 95 minutes.

 ?? Kirsty Griffin / Associated Press ?? From left, Grace Bentley-Tsibuah, Laura Marano and Chelsie Preston Crayford in a scene from “The Royal Treatment.”
Kirsty Griffin / Associated Press From left, Grace Bentley-Tsibuah, Laura Marano and Chelsie Preston Crayford in a scene from “The Royal Treatment.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States