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Anna Mae Wills
A few years after their graduation from Princeton, Louis Baxter, who retired having sold his dot.com business, takes in college-buddy William, who desperately nears the end of his trust fund after several fully failed career-attempts. Louis takes William along to L.A.'s weirdest society event, the annual endangered animals benefit. This year, to raise more money she auctions a single dinner, which William bids his last capital on. He wins, according to Louis a shrewd business networking opportunity. But he's love-spelled by Ithaca, while she believes him to be the seeker, a long-awaited savior for the castle's most secret reality. Written by
Classical princess fairy tales never go out of fashion: this time the story is set in present day America, where a reclusive girl named Ithaca (Nora Zehetner) lives in a luxurious castle with many servants and is seen as an eccentric princess of sorts by the locals. When a handsome but not very wealthy young man named Will Humphries (Kip Pardue) gets to meet her at a charity ball, it seems to be love at first sight for both of them. But she is not an ordinary princess, and there are many obstacles hindering their romance both regular and more otherworldly ones.
At first the movie seems terribly clichéd in its overflowing romanticism: the laughably emotional music, the idyllic castle setting, the richly coloured cinematography and even some sweeping camera movements aggressively rub the style in the face of the audience. However, considering its background as a modern day princess tale, all this can be accepted as awareness of the conventions of the fairytale genre. The actual romance between the two leads is very hackneyed boy-meets-girl stuff, but the fantasy elements help to move the attention away from the by-the-numbers nature of the romantic plot line. In any case, the beautiful Nora Zehetner suits her role well, vastly overshadowing the rather bland Kip Pardue.
The adventure story regarding the search for the next princess is fairly entertaining for what it is, even though the CGI effects are anything but good-looking. There are also run-of-the-mill comedic scenes that may amuse undemanding audiences, mainly based on Matthew Edison's character as Louis, Will's loudmouthed friend frustrated with his pregnant wife Sophie (Mayko Nguyen). In summary, Princess achieves what it was going for fairly well. The movie's goals may not have been very ambitious, but the different elements of the story manage to support each other and keep the whole from feeling overly trite. I think friends of princess fairy tales can easily enjoy the light little movie regardless of age (even though certain scenes may feel a bit too exciting for the very youngest viewers).
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