Thursday 19 November 2020

The Princess Switch: Switched Again (Movie Review)

Vanessa Hudgens returns for another round of holiday-inspired romance in The Princess Switch: Switched Again, the sequel to the 2018 Netflix original film, The Princess Switch. And once again, she plays the dual roles of Stacy and Margaret, much like she'd done in the previous film. Only this time around, things are taken up a notch with the introduction of a third lookalike for her to play. But more doesn't necessarily equate to better, especially when that more is more of the same.

The movie is set about a year after the events of the previous film. A lot has happened since that first movie apparently. Margaret Delacourt had lost her father, the King of Montenaro, and her cousin has chosen to abdicate his rightful position as ruler, meaning that she was now the heir to the throne. She'd also ended her relationship with Kevin (Nick Sagar), who had chosen to focus on running the bakery rather than support and embrace her return to royalty.

Then there's Stacy DeNovo, who juggles most of her time between her new duties as Princess of Belgravia and her continued love for baking. This is coming at the expense of quality time with her husband, Prince Edward (Sam Palladio), who has started to feel like he might be running the risk of losing her.

But arguably the biggest change since the first movie was Kevin's daughter, Olivia, who has been recast. I'm not sure why that was, but I'd immediately felt Alexa Adeosun absence. The new girl lacked most of the spunk the former actress had shown in the first movie, even though she did manage to do a decent enough job.

Anyways, back to the story, which centers upon Margaret's forthcoming coronation. She invites all her friends to attend the ceremony in Montenaro, including Kevin, who still harbors feelings for her. Stacy and Olivia makes it their mission to help the two of them patch things up. But among the guests attending the coronation is one Lady Fiona Pembroke (also played by Vanessa Hudgens), Margaret's rather eccentric cousin, who just happens to have a mission of her own, a rather nefarious one.

I know this is only the second film in the series, but you can already start to feel the law of diminishing returns set in while watching The Princess Switch: Switched Again. The jokes were nowhere as funny as they were in the first movie (not that the jokes in that movie were particularly funny either). Same goes for the chemistry between our four leads, which had none of the spark from before. What we have left then is another holiday-themed romantic comedy with a rather flimsy premise.

The movie shows us that Stacy and Margaret had agreed to switch places once again to allow Margaret spend some quality time with Kevin. But it also revealed that all Margaret had planned for that day was to attend a Christmas concert. If her schedule for the day was so light to begin with, then why make the Switch in the first place? These kinds of plot holes are what you can expect from a Netflix romantic comedy, I know, but still...

Flimsy premise aside, The Princess Switch: Switched Again is a rehash of an overly familiar formula, which can either be a good or a bad thing, depending on what your feelings were about the first movie. So if you weren't a fan of that film's by-the-numbers approach to romance and comedy, then I'm afraid there's nothing here that could help win you over. But if you happen to buy into all of that, then this new one just might offer you some half decent Christmas-themed entertainment.

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