The Princess Switch: Switched Again (2020 Netflix)
Cast: Vanessa Hudgens, Sam Palladio, Nick Sagar
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Synopsis (via Netflix)
When Duchess Margaret unexpectedly inherits the throne to Montenaro and hits a rough patch with Kevin, it’s up to her double Stacy to save the day before a new lookalike, party girl Fiona foils their plans.
Vanessa Hudgens is back as Baker/Princess Stacy from Chicago AND Princess Margaret from Belgravia. Princess Margaret is soon to be Queen Margaret because her father recently died. Stacey and Edward plan to spend Christmas in Montanaro and make a quick pitstop in Chicago to visit Princess Margaret, who has recently broken up with her single father, Kevin. Kevin and his daughter, Olivia (who has been a noticeable recast.), opened a new diner and considered going to Queen Margaret’s coronation.
Princess Margaret lives in a Chicago palace… which must be in the suburbs? I don’t remember Vanessa Hudgens’s accent being so terrible, but it’s god awful. Thankfully we don’t have to hear it long because a decoration montage happens to Kelly Clarkson’s Underneath the Tree. Princess Margaret and Kevin might be rekindling a spark. This is confirmed when a FLOUR FIGHT HAPPENS! The flames are doused by buzz kill Antonio, who is Princess Margaret’s chief of staff.
At a Christmas ball where everyone is dancing to Silent Night, things are jazzed up with the arrival of an over the top debutant/influencer named Fiona. (Vanessa Hudgens in a blonde wig wearing a fascinator.) Princess Margaret is horrified by cousin Fiona and her posse Reggie and Mindy. (Who are a modern-day Jack and Karen. Jack, 2020, if you will.) The crew pickpocket guests because they are low on cash. Fiona feels like she is entitled to the crown the plan a kidnapping scheme.
Stacy, who has been on the back burner for this movie, encourages Princess Margaret to work things out with Kevin. Kevin, on the other hand, is talked out of dating by Tony. Olivia overhears the conversation and convinces the twins who aren’t sisters to swap places, AGAIN! Princess Margaret and Stacy switch for a few hours to give Kevin and Princess Margaret some unsupervised time alone. Only Kevin, Olivia, and the twins know about the switch.
Makeovers happen. Stacy and Princess Margaret, even though they look very similar, are thrilled with the results. So is Cousin Fiona, who is doing her own makeover with her cronies. She plans to kidnapped Princess Margaret and take her place, but she kidnaps Stacy by spilling wine on her dress and chloroforming Stacy in the bathroom. Reggie and Mindy are over the top villains who cackle while throwing Stacy in a dungeon! CAKLE. While Cousin Fiona impersonates Princess Margaret, her jazzy music plays, in case anyone was confused. It is like a stupid version of Peter and the Wolf.
Meanwhile, Princess Margaret goes on her date with Kevin and falls in love with him at a Christmas festival. They spin around in the snow and laugh. When Princess Margaret comes home, she recaps everything to “Stacy.” Cousin Fiona thinks fast and refuses to switch back.
Cousin Fiona calls Reggie and Mindy and tells them about the mix-up. They decide to move the coronation up so cousin Fiona can become queen faster. She then fires the entire staff and breaks up with Alex. JAZZY MUSIC PLAYS!
Princess Margaret tells Edward what is going on, and he can’t believe that his wife would do something so awful. They question the staff and learn about the incident with the drink trick that Reggie and Mindy pulled. They figure things out quickly and rush to save Stacy.
Tony also realizes what is going on and blackmails Cousin Fiona for a cut of the money she plans to steal. They go to the unconventional late-night coronation.
Stacy doesn’t need saving; she frees herself and makes a run for it. I’m not sure what happens here because the scene is so poorly lit and dark. I’m pretty sure Stacy gets away, and Reggie is kneed in the balls? Maybe someone throws a snowball. This is the climax of the movie?
At the coronation, everyone is confused when Stacy and Princess Margaret show up. Cousin Fiona pins everything on Antonio. Princess Margaret has Tony arrested and sends him to the dungeon. Cousin Fiona begs for forgiveness and shares a sob story for a reduced sentence.
Princess Margaret rushes to the airport to stop Alex and Oliva from boarding the plane. Classic RomCom trope here delivered most straightforwardly. (Even if ANYONE screaming KEVIN in an airport makes me think of Catherine O’Hara in Home Alone.) Kevin and Margaret kiss and she proposes to him. Everyone claps. They get a random priest in the airport to marry them on the spot. The vows are cliche, but I’m crying to this must be somewhat effective. 2020 has been a rough year; it is nice to see happy people.
Christmas day, and it is time for the official coronation. It is so low budget after watching the new season of The Crown. Rose McIver and Ben Lamb make a cameo as their A Christmas Prince characters with their new baby. Princess Margaret is now KWEEN Margaret. The end!
Overall a good time, but throw all TV Christmas movie/regular movie rules out the window.
Minority Report: Kevin, Olivia, Chanel,
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*Photo Credit: © 2020 Netflix