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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Prince and Me: Special Edition
Prince and Me: Special Edition
Paramount // PG // August 10, 2004
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted July 31, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

"The Prince and Me" is a cute little fairy tale (although thankfully it's more down-to-Earth than "The Princess Diaries") that has a few nice moments, is pleasant enough and is totally harmless. While it's nice to have wholesome (aside from a couple of brief bits), PG-rated entertainment for the target audience, the film never really goes for any risks or tries for anything unexpected. It's nice, it's sweet and it's pleasant enough, but there's no surprises.

Paige Morgan (Julia Stiles) is a hard-working pre-med student at a Wisconsin university. She spends her days trying to ensure her grades are high enough to get into Johns Hopkins Medical School. She is one of those people who can understand complex math equations and venture into the realm of science, but can't wrap her mind around Shakespeare or really, around love.

Prince Edvard Valdemar Dangaard (Luke Mably) is the young prince of Denmark, generally good-hearted, but bored and known to resort to car chases to try and add some excitement to his life. After viewing a "Girls Gone Wild in Wisconsin"-style ad on television, he decides that Wisconsin chicks are apparently easy. Keeping his royalty a secret, he enrolls in a university and is accompanied by his helper, Soren (the very funny and dry Ben Miller).

Paige and Eddie don't exactly meet cute when he tries to find whether or not Paige is another Girl Gone Wild, but the two end up in chemistry together and, well, it's obvious to anyone who's seen a movie that the two...well, have chemistry. It's only a matter of time he finds he has to return to royalty, revealing to Paige who he is and making her wonder whether she should join him or continue her towards her goals.

The two leads provide fine performances that, while certainly not a stretch for either (Stiles has cute moments, but she never exactly projects much energy), at least achieve the basic goal of convincing of their romance. The film does try and have its cake and eat it too: it presents Paige as a strong, independent woman who focuses on her own future, but also wants to focus on the romantic angle of her being a potential princess. There's some nicely played moments revolving around "making one's own choice", but the film really never goes into much depth about Paige's choices in the picture. At just under two hours, the film also goes a bit too long.

Overall, "Prince and Me" is perfectly pleasant fare. It's nothing too original, but it's well-played for the most part, and I bought into the romantic pairing of the two leads.


The DVD

VIDEO: "The Prince and Me" is presented by Paramount Home Video in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a perfectly fine presentation; the film's low-key, naturalistic look does not lend itself to a slick look, but the transfer handles it quite well. Sharpness and detail are generally quite pleasant, although some slight softness enters in during a few shots.

The presentation did have a few minor faults. Slight edge enhancement appeared in a few scenes, as did a couple of traces of compression artifacting. The print, however, seemed very clean, with no debris or other faults. The film's color palette remained naturalistic, with fine saturation and no smearing or other faults.

SOUND: "The Prince and Me" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. The film's opening car chase sequence does provide some enjoyable surround use, with cars zipping through the listening space and the engine sounds remaining dynamic and fierce. After that, things calm down considerably, with the rears really only put to use for some light ambience and slight musical reinforcement. The film's audio remained fine, with clear dialogue and crisp sound effects work.

EXTRAS: Director Martha Coolidge offers a very enjoyable audio commentary, talking about her feelings on several different topics, such as musical selection, casting and creating the look of the film. Coolidge has a great deal of insights into what she was trying to attain with many aspects of "The Prince and Me" and she shares them in a fun and enthusiastic manner.

The DVD offers three "making of" featurettes: one on the look of the film, one a general piece and the other on the lawnmower race in the picture. Beyond those, viewers also get deleted scenes, a gag reel, the film's theatrical trailer and previews for other Paramount titles.

Final Thoughts: "Prince and Me" didn't surprise me one bit, but the two leads were fine together and the film took a somewhat grounded, occasionally rather thoughtful approach to this fairy tale romance. Paramount's DVD edition provides fine audio/video quality and a few good supplements. Recommended as a rental for parents seeking an enjoyable, largely inoffensive romance for their teens/early teens.

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