I enjoy Netflix Christmas movies. They are slowly building out a large universe. The A Christmas Prince is the tentpole. It is set in Aldovia, a generic small European mountain principality. The Princess Switch is set in Belgravia and Montenaro, two more small European mountain principalities. During the coronation of Queen Margaret, the royal family from A Christmas Prince is present, complete with their baby. A Knight Before Christmas is set in the United States, but the Aldovian nut tree ornament makes an appearance. I don’t know if this will become an MCU like setup, but the foundation is being built.
Vanessa Hudgens once again plays Stacy, the Chicago Baker, and Princess Margaret. This time, she adds in Fiona, an evil cousin that ‘bears a striking resemblance to her cousin.’ Early in the movie, there are a lot of rapid camera switches to keep Stacy and Margaret off the screen at the same time. Eventually, they give up and we can see two Vanessa’s, and sometimes all three on-screen together. It is a strange choice and is jarring until everyone shows up together.
This film is a classic Hallmark style holiday film. The spirit of the season solves lots of problems and deadlines are all set around Christmas. Mix in a bit of taking care of orphans and you have a recipe for a generic Christmas film. The movies are all very white, Hudgens does bring some diversity. They are very heteronormative. There is some female autonomy and the princesses don’t always save the day, the spirit of the season does.
If you like Netflix or Hallmark Christmas movies and have seen the first Princess Switch this is a good follow-up. I can only hope we don’t get a fourth Hudgens in two years.