Best movie ever!
A lot more amusing than I thought it would be.
At first rather annoying in its heavy emphasis on reenactments, this movie ultimately proves fascinating, simply because the complicated, highly dramatic tale it tells still almost defies belief.
It's funny, it's tense, it features two great performances from two actors and the director expertly creates a web of odd tension where you actually don't know what is happening for the majority of the run time.
Mia Thermopolis (played by Anne Hathaway) is a 15-year old girl. Awkward and shy she lives with her artist mother Helen (Catherine Goodall) in an refurbished former fire station. Then one day she meets her grandmother Clarisse (Julie Andrews) and is informed that she is the Princess of the European country of Genovia. Despite the perks involved, she is not so sure she wants to assume the title. Very formulaic and obviously made for children, the whole plot and production are pure Disney. Very fairy tale-like and predictable.Yet it is difficult to dislike. The main characters are not your usual irritating, bratty teens. There is an innocence to it all that propels the movie. Plus, Anne Hathaway puts in a wonderful, charming performance as Mia.So, really a children's movie, but adults won't mind being forced to sit through it.
Robert J. Maxwell
Anne Hathaway makes a cute San Francisco teen age preppie. The Zeitgeist demands that she dress and act like an iconoclast. She and her friends are rowdy, rude, unkempt. Her hair looks like it was attacked by a mad dog.Then, it's discovered that she is heir to the throne of Genovia or Ruritania or Arcadia or someplace. She is visited by the queen, Julie Andrews, a warm personality who has brought innumerable consultants and factotums who are intent on turning Hathaway into the Princess she will become.The director, Garry Marshall, does a good job. He's an Italian-American and must have gotten a kick out of Larry Williams as an uncredited hair dresser and make up artist named Prego Putanesco. As he trims her up, he remarks, "I love your eyebrows. We'll call them Frieda and Kahlo." Now, if this were a dumb movie made only for young girls barely into their growth spurt, would a joke like that have been included? (Hint: No.) I kind of enjoyed it. Nice shots of San Francisco in winter's rain.The fairy-tale story is pretty damned hoary. (I think that's called iambic dimeter. The voices tell me to do it.) Yet the setting, the gags, and the animated performance of Anne Hathaway who has the sparkling grin of a toothpaste commercial, bring it all over the goal line.
Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) is a dorky invisible teen who everybody steps on. She lives with her mother (Caroline Goodall) in an old fire station in San Francisco. Her only friend is Lilly Moscovitz (Heather Matarazzo). Her dead father's mother Queen Clarisse Renaldi (Julie Andrews) of Genovia has come to town to tell her that she's the only heir for the throne. She is shocked since her mother never told her any of this and she doesn't want to rule. Joe (Héctor Elizondo) is her new driver. She is given princess lessons by her grandmother. She is picked on by mean girl Lana Thomas (Mandy Moore) and her friends, but she is infatuated with Lana's jock boyfriend Josh Bryant. Meanwhile Michael Moscovitz is in love with Mia.There are many things wrong with this movie. It's cheesy. It has a few too many stupidity. The mother needs to be played by somebody more compelling. The one thing that this movie has is the lovely Anne Hathaway. She is terrific as a dork. She actually makes the cliché ugly duckling work. She does great pratfalls even when the movie turns into a slapstick affair. And then it has the regal Julie Andrews who can really class things up when she wants to.
Many people don't like "Fluff" movies like this. I can tell, because I get negative reviews whenever I write good things about these types of movies. But I think secretly, even some macho men likes these movies. I personally don't care because if it's a good movie, then it's a good movie whatever the genre is. If there's one word to describe this movie, it's Ann Hathaway. All the movie's goodness owes to her. She's convincing as a princess, and she really is an interesting character in this movie. My eyes were pretty much glued to her all through the movie. Much like Julie Andrews attracted attention when she was younger in "The Sound of Music", she carries the movie with her presence. Julie Andrews by the way also appears in a supporting role in this film.The movie definitely made Ann Hathaway a star. She's probably deserving, because she still has nice presence in a more recent movies like the Dark Knight Rising.In any case, this is a good movie, and is definitely worth the watch.