The Princess Diaries (2001) Movie Review

By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –

Anne Hathaway is one of the most famous actresses in modern cinema. She won the Academy Award for bringing the tragic Fantine to life in Les Misérables (2012), and she had to struggle to satisfy the overly demanding Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada (2006). Long before she became an A-list celebrity, Anne Hathaway was actually a cinematic princess at the start of her illustrious career. Based on the best-selling series by Meg Cabot, The Princess Diaries essentially launched the career of one of the most iconic actresses of the twenty-first century.

A Toast

This film really is a contemporary fairy tale. Magic sparkles throughout this film partially because Whitney Houston served as one of the producers four years after she played the fairy godmother in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997). Gary Marshall directed one of his greatest hits when he made this film, especially since he was an expert in the romantic comedy genre (and he even achieved fame for directing Pretty Woman in 1990).

The two main stars of this beloved film, though, are Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway. Julie Andrews was actually very lucky to be a part of this film because some of the scenes were actually filmed on Stage 2 at the Disney Studio, which was also the same sound stage used when Walt Disney collaborated with Andrews in Mary Poppins (1964), the film that made her a movie star. It is safe to say that The Princess Diaries actually helped make Anne Hathaway the star that she is today (as of 2018), and it was all thanks to the enchantment of the Disney legacy. Maybe Disney magic really does exist after all!

Verdict

The Princess Diaries might not have received a lot of accolades when it was originally released in 2001, but it still has a devoted fan base. It also made “Anne Hathaway” a household name rather than just simply the name of William Shakespeare’s wife. Changes might have been made to Meg Cabot’s original book series, but this film is still a modern Cinderella story. The Princess Diaries really is a modern Disney classic because of its continuation of the fairy tale films that Walt Disney produced while also inspiring viewers with the notion that dreams really can come true.

The Princess Diaries (2001) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time Mia has a clumsy moment

Take a Drink: for every fancy piece of royal jewelry

And Cheers: for the fundamental fact that any girl really can be a princess as long as they believe in themselves

About Alex Phuong

Alex Andy Phuong earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from California State University-Los Angeles in 2015. His love affair with cinema began after discovering Turner Classic Movies in the summer of 2004. His favorite film director is Woody Allen, and his favorite movie star is Kate Winslet.

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