Starring: Vanessa Hudgens, Sam Palladio, Nick Sagar
Director: Mike Rohl
Running Time: 102 mins
The Princess Switch is an American film about a woman who discovers that she looks identical to a soon-to-be-married Duchess visiting her small town. The Duchess, wanting to see the town for real, decides to switch places with her, leading to inevitable complications.
This is one of the most frustratingly dull films I’ve come across in a long time. On the surface, there’s nothing particularly terrible about The Princess Switch, but there’s nothing particularly good either. It’s very simple, very plasticky and very lightweight, but there really isn’t all that much to say about it.
Looking at things pragmatically, if you’re an 8 year-old girl, or a 28 year-old woman with a bit of nostalgia for High School Musical or The Princess Diaries, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy The Princess Switch, whether in an ironic or pure turn-your-brain-off kind of way.
For the rest of us, however, there really isn’t that much to write home about The Princess Switch. Caught infuriatingly between the high production values and A-list casts of Netflix movies and the flimsy, painfully superficial slew of Hallmark movies, it’s difficult to know what to really expect from this movie.
If you do like a Hallmark movie, then first please introduce yourself to me because I don’t believe that anybody likes Hallmark movies. Second, you’ll probably be blown away by the production quality of The Princess Switch, as well as the fact that it even stars an actor you’ve heard of in Vanessa Hudgens.
If you like your Netflix movies, then The Princess Switch is a real disappointment given the studio’s now-impressive quality, and the lofty expectations which come with that. Poorly written, lacking energy and playing out on a very plain, plasticky set, this movie is never genuinely engrossing nor actually entertaining.
But it’s not even a so-bad-it’s-good movie. It’s just really, really dull. Nothing of particular note happens at any point during the movie, and Vanessa Hudgens – try as she might – can’t really separate her two separate characters on screen, with the pair blending into one to the extent that you forget who’s who more often than not.
Of course, that ruins an element of the whole Prince And The Pauper story, proving an unnecessary hindrance to what could have been a playful and enjoyable family comedy, but instead ends up as an overproduced Christmas card with no writing inside. In short, The Princess Switch is far from a good film, and is a perfect way to waste 102 minutes of your time. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 5.5 overall.