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The Dish

MRQE Top Critic

Operation Condor

Jackie Chan meets Indiana Jones —Andrea Birgers (review...)

Chan borrows from Raiders

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She hates Shakespeare. He’s a melancholy prince of Denmark. It’s a match made in romantic-comedy heaven.

Oh, That Eddie

Paige and Eddie face their future
Paige and Eddie face their future

Julia Stiles plays Paige, a Wisconsin college student from a rural background. And although she gets top billing, The Prince and Me doesn’t work without Luke Mably, playing Eddie. Eddie is really “Prince Edvard,” heir to the throne of Denmark, who is bored, reckless and spoiled. He proposes a trip to America, where he will “find himself” and return more mature and ready to take the throne. Eddie’s latest favorite pornographic tape features the girls of Wisconsin, so he decides that’s where he’ll go.

Arriving on campus, Eddie tries to blend in with the crowd, but his personal assistant is a constant reminder of the silver spoon in his mouth. Paige assumes he’s just another trust-funder. Moviegoers will recognize that he has a lot of humility to learn before Paige will give him the time of day. The movie grinds through its formula-dictated plot developments, and by the end of act one, Paige and Eddie are an item.

But Denmark will not wait, and eventually, Paige learns his true identity. She has to decide whether to follow him back to become his princess, or follow her dreams of becoming a doctor and healing the poor. Many movies would be content to stop here, making Paige’s decision a climax, but The Prince and Me continues another twenty minutes and re-introduces the same conflict again, letting viewers on for another ride on its emotional rollercoaster.

Stiles of Chemistry

For what it is, The Prince and Me is watchable. If you can see past the treacle, Julia Stiles is adorable, and she’s very easy to empathize with. As superficial as the rollercoaster ride is, it’s kind of fun with her along.

As for Mably (28 Days Later), he’s mostly just an object. He’s “the guy.” I’m not sure whether he actually shares any chemistry with Stiles, or whether her chemistry is with the camera. He’s hunky enough for the young female demographic (“more so in his uniform than in a t-shirt,” I am told), but don’t look for him at next year’s awards shows.

This light comedy does have some funny moments. As Eddie’s handler Soren, Ben Miller has a magnetic Tim Roth-look. He doesn’t speak much, and when he does it’s usually to say something drily witty. Eddie’s trip to the ranch where Paige grew up inspires some yokel jealousy and a search for common ground that’s good for a few laughs.

The Prince and Me provides some solid, PG-rated entertainment, but on the whole, it’s too formulaic. If not for Stiles it would be a real tragedy.