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The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star (2021)


If you are unaware, I love the Netflix Christmas Cinematic Universe. If you were not aware of the NCCU, you are not alone. The Hallmark channel-style Netflix Christmas films are mostly tied together including The Christmas Princess franchise, The Princess Switch franchise, and even A Knight Before Christmas. I wish I could say Netflix’s best Christmas films, Klaus and The Christmas Chronicles, were part of the NCCU, but sadly they are stand-alone.

The first installment of The Princess Switch introduced us to Stacie Juliette, Vanessa Hudgens, and Lady Margaret Delacourt, Vanessa Hudgens. In the second installment, we are introduced to Fiona Pembroke, Vanessa Hudgens. It would stand to reason that in the third installment we would be treated to a fourth Vanessa Hudgens, but sadly we are not. The third film lets us get to know Fiona more and she gets to finally find a love of her own.

Mistaken identity is out and impersonation is in, reaching a high point with not one, not two, but three simultaneous Fiona Pembrokes. The film revolves around a heist to steal back a stolen Vatican relic, complete with early mission impossible style laser avoidance. Another staple of the NCCU is the luxury car collection. The Mercedes S-Class, MSRP $109,800, is the baseline vehicle. The Bentley Flying Spur, MSRP $198,100, is also seen whisking Fiona along through the snow-covered countryside to a castle. The Castle set dressing features a Lotus, a Ferrari, and a Lamborghini. A Ferrari 360 Spyder, oddly dated for this film, is used heavily as well. The strangest car to grace the screen is a Tesla Model S, driven by the Queen’s husband. Why is that so odd? He must drive it eight hours to Belgium to pick up his daughter and return. That drive requires at least one charging stop each way plus another charge before the return journey. Any number of gas-powered GT cars would have been a better selection. Someone inside of Netflix loves cars and Christmas movies and I want to meet them.

This film goes in a very predictable direction, as with all of the NCCU. One of the few true surprises is how the NCCU is woven in. I hope Netflix continues to make these light-hearted, fun, forgettable films each year. I love turning my brain off and enjoying my journey through a bucolic European alpine nation. While there is disappointment with Vanessa Hudgens only portraying three characters, the film is still as enjoyable as any in the NCCU.

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