The Princess Switch is one of many, many Netflix Christmas movies flooding the platform at the moment. And while some are enjoyable in a cheesy sort of way, this one is just sad.
Vanessa Hudgens pulls a Lindsay Lohan and plays both Stacy De Novo, a humble and meticulous baker from Chicago, and her look-alike Lady Margaret, a distant relative who is to become Princess of the Kingdom of Belgravia, the same place Stacy is participating in a Christmas baking competition.
After discovering how eerily similar they look, the two decide to switch places Prince and the Pauper-style so that Lady Margaret can experience normal life in Belgravia. They quickly discover their arrangement results in a predictable dilemma — practical, determined Stacy falls for Prince Edward and convinces him to be more charitable, while Lady Margaret thinks sous-chef Kevin is pretty hot. After a few tears, they decide to reveal themselves to their new romantic interests and permanently and publicly switch places so they can live happily ever after.
Even accounting for such a horribly unimaginative story and truly awful script, a movie like this could have still been fun with some quality acting and chemistry between the lead actors and actresses. But the movie just feels rushed. There’s little to no reason to be invested in the plot of The Princess Switch or either of Hudgens’ relationships with her on-screen beaus.
Lady Margaret’s crush on Stacy’s ripped best friend Kevin just isn’t that appealing. You would assume Kevin would be at least a little upset when he discovers he kissed a total stranger instead of the girl he thought he’d known for years. But to him, he’s won the proverbial lottery — sure, his best friend Stacy doesn’t like him like that but what does it matter? This girl looks just like her.
Meanwhile, Prince Edward and the undercover Stacy are off reading stories to orphans in a scene lifted straight from The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. Come on guys, did you think no one would notice?
And I haven’t even gotten to the British accent yet. Why? Belgravia is a fake country — its people don’t need British accents. They could have had Hudgens speak in any accent. There must be an accent she can pull off, but it’s certainly not British.
Hudgens pulls out some teary expressions, but nothing that made me actually care about whether or not she ended up with either basic guy. I’m totally willing to watch movies where people fall in love in two days and pretend it’s realistic, but this one doesn’t manage to draw me in. Hudgens is clearly capable of leaving a lasting effect on audiences (I gotta go my own way…), but this script and cast were just too bad for her to overcome.