When we watched A Christmas Prince way back in December last year, that time 365 days ago, 365 days in which I have done nothing of worth in my life except for discovering I can fit 36 Pringles in my mouth at once – we cried. Tears of pain.
Actually, I lie. We loved it in that way you love a movie so fucking stupid and inane and brain-cell-murdering simply because it is all Christmassy and cheery and so on. But also it was genuinely super shit and probably made us stupider as humans.
Apparently there was a veritable fuckload of us plebs who watched the pile of steaming shit that was A Christmas Prince, though like we did – enough in fact for Netflix to make a whole bloody sequel. I have been assigned the job of reviewing that sequel, which is somehow even worse than the original.
FYI, although seriously do I have to say this – SPOILERS. Lots of them. But honestly? You could pick the plot of this film in one single second. So IDK, enter at your own risk, I guess?
Let’s go back to the first film as a refresher – Amber, an aspiring NYC journo, is sent to cover a press conference in which Prince Richard will announce he’s taking over the throne of Aldovia from recently deceased dad. She sneaks into the palace, which is super illegal FYI and not really a thing profesh journos do, and is mistaken for the new tutor for Richard’s sister, Emily. Where the real tutor went, god knows. Amber probably shivved her with her journo pen and disposed of her quietly. ANYWAY blah blah, Richard and Amber of course fall in love and after a mild kerfuffle (Richard is adopted! His cousin Simon is the legal heir to the throne! No wait! They find a decree that the fucking maniac of a king hid in a CHRISTMAS BAUBLE saying “Fuck you all Richard can still be king bc I say so”) Richard proposes to Amber, even though he’s known her for 400 seconds and she also lied her way into the castle and probably gave his little sister a really terrible few weeks of education that’ll take years to reverse.
ANYWAY! We’re a year after that proposal now, and Amber and Richard have been having a TIME of it. They’re flitting off to each other’s countries like the townsfolk of Aldovia aren’t all destitute and unemployed (which they are, by the way – Aldovia SUCKS economy-wise, like really sucks. Like “please sir can I have some more” times a million, sucks).
There’s pina coladas being consumed and kisses at sunset in a montage that also includes these un-spellchecked magazine covers featuring Amber’s mug on ’em.
Basically, Amber’s a celeb now and her fucking stupid BLOG (yes, she made a blog at the end of the last film, because investigative reporting on global issues is totally the same as writing out your feelings about which Christmas trifle should you do this year, a modern one or traditional) has a bazillion readers and she’s just soooo successful guys but also has stayed ~true to herself~, “herself” being her personality, which is entirely defined by “lol I wear Converse to all dress codes”.
Anyway, Amber and her dad fly into Aldovia for the wedding of the SEASON, which will naturally take place on Christmas Day. Way to ruin Christmas for all your friends and family, guys.
The pair meet the family, and of course Amber’s dad is every NYC cliche possible, all “awwww put ‘er there! I’m from the BRONX babey!!!! Givvus a kiss”. He’s a chef at a diner, so of course he galumphs into the very sleek industrial kitchen and starts crowing on about making pork sliders for the royal family to the very experienced, very stressed palace chef. Like fuck off? Cool story, you make good pork sliders and cookies. She has her own fine dining credentials under her belt – LEAVE IT ALONE AND JUST EAT THE FOIE GRAS, MY FRIEND.
Meanwhile, Amber is being told she has to calm it with the CoOl gIrL shit. Like, a lot. The royal PR lady wants her to basically behave like, oh you know, a FUCKING ROYAL because that’s what she’s about to become, the bloody Queen of a country that is in ECONOMIC CRISIS, and Amber’s all lol nah I will wear jeans and sneakers to meet dignitaries lol soz. Like honestly – I like that they’re pushing being an individual but also like… if you don’t want to ever have to wear fancy shit then maybe don’t marry a fucking FUTURE KING OF A TRADITIONAL COUNTRY. It’s not like Meghan Markle gets around in an Adidas tracksuit. Because she’s a bloody Princess or whatever now. That’s fucking life, OK? Deal with it. It all seems incredibly self-absorbed to assume you can just do whatever and wear whatever and still be the Queen.
But back to that Aldovian economic crisis – Prince Richard has basically followed in his dad’s footsteps and put some plan into motion that was something like “use local businesses to build new roads and infrastructures in Aldovia”, with ‘infrastructure’ being a sort of umbrella term for “shit you build in countries”. They don’t really explain what they’re building. Stuff! Lots of stuff.
BUT, shock horror – somehow none of the small businesses are making any money from the big budget projects going on, and no one seems to know why!
HERE’S A THING, GUYS. I’m no economist, fuck I can barely add up the money when everyone pays cash at a group dinner, but I’m gonna just put it out there that any big budget project is gonna have some sort of financial paper trail you could probably follow to suss where the money is being funnelled. No? Like small business does job – invoices someone – invoice is paid by someone. I swear that’s how this shit works. Surely there are some invoices or whatever floating around we could be getting onto.
Apparently not – the only thing the royals can think to do is a) call in some old crony mate called Leopold, who we will get to later, and b) save the country by selecting only the VERY BEST Christmas tree for the town square. I SHIT YOU NOT.
This job falls to Amber, who takes it on like whatever tree she picks will single-handedly bring about peace in the Middle East.
Side note – apparently the budget went up for this film, because they clearly got a snow trip in for the cast and crew. Because of this, many events happen in the snow – a sleigh ride, a tobogganing excursion, and many instances of people running out of the warm, snug palace in a huff to sit in the arctic cold for reflection.
Anyway! Back to Leopold – he’s bad. No shit, you say. Any crony old man who waltzes in with full trust of the royals? Gonna be a secret scumbag. Amber gets the ball rolling on this discovery when she decides to help the economic crisis by going undercover as a reporter in a pub. Her idea of discreet is wearing sunglasses at 11pm.
She meets some random townsguy who is all blah blah some company keeps taking my moneeeey away from meeeee. Again – did no one think to chat to ANY small businesses before this moment? No one? No thought to just talk to business owners to find out the town secrets? OK then. Seems like an oversight but sure.
Anyway long story short – really – turns out that Leopold has been siphoning cash off into his own business called Glockenspiel. GLOCKENSPIEL. Couldn’t come up with a cooler name, Leo? There’s a big confrontation that turns really grim – Amber legit holds Leopold at ARROW POINT:
Someone whips out a very legitimate looking document that shows Glockenspiel’s made billions:
And then the Queen reveals Leopold’s going to the dungeon – the actual dungeon – which is in “the very depths of the castle”. Yeah OK that definitely doesn’t sound like something the United Nations should be investigating as a human rights issue.
But it’s fine! It’s all fine guys because now we can have the wedding! While Leopold wails from the dungeon depths below our bougie feet!
I forgot to mention because it literally mattered 0.0000% but someone hired a batshit wedding planner guy, who wanted Amber to wear some bizarre Ye Olde clown dress, because professional stylists are definitely all clinically insane with no talent. But it’s fine because Amber and Richard have decided NO MORE FAKERY, they are BEING THEMSELVES, even if it means they ruin centuries-old tradition and generally present themselves as incapable, stubborn, tantrumy children. That’s fine, these Aldovians don’t need to feel like their leaders are mature and capable,able to get their shit together and represent their country to the world in a professional manner! They just want realness – realness in the form of a Queen who literally won’t quit with the fucking Converse:
That’s Amber wearing glitter Cons under her wedding gown, by the way. Spew in a bucket. After the wedding, which by the way has a shocking turnout for the biggest wedding the country’s seen in decades:
There’s a reception. Some boring cutting of cakes and so on ensues, and there’s the couple’s first dance – which has all the chemistry of a wet towel someone bunched up in the corner of their bedroom that now smells like toilet. Until! Princess Emily cuts the tunes and puts on some awful royalty-free tune Netflix clearly didn’t have to pay for, and Amber’s dad yells “CONGAAAAA!” and everyone does… the conga. It’s horrible.
Richard and Amber escape outside for some canoodling, which again – chemistry of damp towel – until they’re accosted by the conga line, which has burst out of the palace doors to come suffocate them to death.
Of course they leave it open for a third film – which I for one am hoping is called A Christmas Prince – The Conga Murders.