Netflix kicked off the Christmas season early this year with the release of “The Princess Switch: Switched Again” on Nov. 19. Every scene is jam packed with lovable goofiness.
The sequel jumps two years into the future only to find that the death of Duchess Margaret of Montenaro’s (Vanessa Hudgens) father has led to her fast-track to the throne. Chicago baker, Kevin (Nick Sagar) went back home with his daughter Olivia (Mia Lloyd) heartbroken at the mutual separation. Chicago-baker-turned-princess Stacy (Vanessa Hudgens) and Prince Edward (Sam Palladio) deal with the struggles of married life.
As it would turn out not everything can have a fairytale ending. Or does it?
Unlike “The Princess Switch,” this film focuses more on the second love story it glossed over in the first: Margaret and Kevin. There is constant scheming to get the two barely parted lovers back together and what better excuse than a Christmas coronation?
Stacy rushes off to Chicago and convinces Kevin to come to Montenaro, ensuring that everything will work out for the best. In order to make that happen, her and Margaret hatch a plan to “switch” and give Margaret and Kevin some much needed one-on-one time away from worldly responsibilities. However, switching in the name of love isn’t the only reason roles are switched in this film.
Netflix goes above and beyond in setting itself apart from other “princess and the pauper” style movies by adding a third (yes, you read that right) character portrayed by Vanessa Hudgens. Fiona, a very blonde and spoiled-brat caricature who happens to be cousin and doppelganger to Duchess Margret.
She hatches a plan to pull her own switch and kidnap Margaret to pretend to be queen and wire money to her own personal account.
Only one problem: her switch lines up with Margaret and Stacy’s switch, so, instead of kidnapping Margret, she ends up with Stacy instead.
The idea sounded a bit hokey to me at first, but I ended up very much enjoying the whole concept a lot. Parts were cliché, silly, and brought a warmth to the movie that gave it the classic Hallmark-ish feel that makes these movies so loveable.
I think a big part of that had to do with being amazed by Vanessa Hudgens’s versatility as an actress.
Not only does she have three scripts to memorize in dialogue, mannerism, and movement, but she also has to keep their visual character distinct enough so that audiences do not get confused.
It helps that each character is wildly different from one another, but Hudgens adds her own personal flair.
Netflix never fails to disappoint with movies like these. They are rather predictable – except for the fact that Olivia’s actress has been completely replaced by someone of a noticeably different race, which threw me for quite the loop – but people who seek out cliché Christmas movies aren’t looking for a lot of depth. They want the fairytale love story with Christmas trees shoved into every frame.
I enjoyed being able to forget about the harsh realities we are currently facing in 2020 and embracing the Christmas magic a little bit earlier this year.
“The Princess Switch: Switched Again” has all of that, complete with lots of laughs. It’s a great movie to throw on after a long day and enjoy a mug of cocoa while watching it.