The Princess Switch Review, or thank you Netflix for another gem

Yesterday I had to day off, so naturally I sat on my couch to watch a little Netflix. To my great joy, I saw a new Netflix original Christmas movie had been released. A couple of weeks ago, I noticed an online ad for The Princess Switch featuring TWO Vanessa Hudgenses and I was instantly excited.

This movie did not disappoint.

Basically, The Princess Switch is the plot of every movie you can imagine where two characters share an uncanny resemblance to each other and decide to switch roles. In this case, they aren’t separated at birth twins, but connected probably through a distant cousin. Vanessa Hudgens 1 is Duchess Margaret of a made up country, a duty bound princess-to-be who’s marrying Prince Edward of another made up country. Margaret isn’t made for the spotlight (which we learn through clunky exposition) and wants to know what it’s like to be a regular girl. She bumps into Vanessa Hudgens 2, Stacey, who’s visiting the made up country for a baking competition. Shenanigans ensue.

In typical fashion, I’m just going to bullet point the rest of my thoughts and they definitely contain spoilers:

  • Within the first 20 minutes, John Lennon’s quote ‘Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans’ is mentioned THRICE. Clearly, our characters are going to realize some amazing truths while their plans are disrupted.
  • Aside from that, the real highlight of the movie is at one point toward the end, Margaret-as-Stacey is at home with Kevin, Stacey’s baking assistant and father to Olivia, a little girl who said at her dance class, they danced The Nutcracker as if that’s a casual dance you can do in 45 minutes. Anyway. They go to watch a Christmas movie and Kevin turns on Netflix. The self-referential nature doesn’t stop there. HE CHOOSES TO WATCH A CHRISTMAS PRINCE BECAUSE IT’S STACEY’S FAVORITE MOVIE! LEGITIMATELY THIS HAPPENS! By the end, Maragaret is crying and Kevin is tearing up because who doesn’t love a happy ending. The most unbelievable thing is probably that it’s Stacey’s favorite movie – she’s been set up as a non-sentimental person who doesn’t seem like she has a lot of time for nonsense. And as much as a I love A Christmas Prince, it’s complete nonsense. Can’t wait for the sequel.
  • Everyone falls in love with each other in two days. Kevin and Stacey have been friends since high school, but there’s never been a spark. He’s too go-with-the-flow and she’s too, what he calls, ‘intense.’ As an intense person, this offends me. Once Margaret, somehow a free spirit despite her upbringing, pretends to be Stacey, the sparks begin flying like crazy. Stacey and Prince Edward fall in love because they both love making and keeping plans.
  • Both Stacey and Margaret master perfect accents in the matter of an hour maybe? Margaret is from a fake country that fortunately has a British accent, which Stacey immediately masters. I know we’ve all tried to speak with an accent, and maybe we’re okay for a few words, but it’s a really complex thing. You have to learn the different sounds for all the words. Stacey is Chicago based which in real life means she’s got some hard vowels in her pronunciation, but Margaret immediately drops her royal tone of speaking and sounds just like her.
  • Stacey wears heals while baking all the time and during the five-hour baking competition. More power to you, but also no.
  • At one point when the prince is telling Stacey he wants to be with her, she’s looking at him and tearing up and I really wanted her to start singing any of Gabriella’s sad love songs to Troy, preferably Gotta Go My Own Way.
  • When Kevin finds out he didn’t kiss Stacey but actually Margaret, he’s not immediately sure about everything which makes perfect sense. Unlike Edward and Margaret who were basically strangers, Kevin and Stacey have been BFs forever. He thought he was falling in love with his best friend, someone he knows everything about, but it was actually a stranger. That changes things.
  • There’s a scene where Stacey-as-Margaret and Edward are riding horses and the green screen is so terrible I’m pretty sure I can see the guy dropping fake snow on them from the rafters.
  • Also at one point they go to this really nice toy store and there happens to be a Twister game on the floor so of course they play. Stacey’s in a short skirt and a duchess but that’s no big deal.
  • What I legitimately did like is the conflict resolution. The king and queen find out about the doppelgängers and are wondering what to do when a kindly old magic man who’s helping moving the plot along in every scene convinces them it’s fine. They’ve seen Stacey and their son together and they want him to be happy and in love and don’t care if he’s marrying a duchess or a peasant baker. They convince Margaret (now switched back into her real life) to go with Edward to the baking competition. Before they leave, she explains everything to him. So he’s not surprised at the appearance of both of them (sorry Kevin) and knows he’s in love with her. I really appreciate the more rational, non-dramatic ending of things.

This movie is cheesy and ridiculous but I say two thumbs up watch it now.

Why I can’t forget when it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day

It feels like every single day there’s something to celebrate on Instagram with a hashtag

#nationaldogday

#nationalmuttday

#nationalsiblingsday

#nationalsistersday

#nationalbestfriendday

#nationalbffday

#nationaldonutday

#nationalpizzaday

#nationalwallowinselfpityday

You get the idea.

There are a thousand nonsensical holidays that none of us will ever actually remember, but there’s one I’ll never forget. Talk Like a Pirate Day. To understand why, we need to travel together back 11 years ago.

The year was 2007 and I was a junior in high school. It was my second year of braces and just two days after I passed my driving test. Here’s a 17-year-old me to really set the mood.

10400543_22064111394_9616_n.jpg

Just so you know, I have like 20 other pictures of me and my friend Brittany wearing tubes and being weirdos. Teenagers are weird.

It’s important to note that at this time I was obsessed with High School Musical (2 to be exact). I believed the music was actually quality and spent time trying to convince my mother of its greatness. I remember this because one of the songs was my ringtone.

This one to be exact.

All I want is for Zac Efron to say that I’m the music in him.

So obviously this is embarrassing for several reasons, but it gets worse. It was the morning of September 19 and I was in my first class of the day, AP English. This year we focused on rhetoric. I remember this because I still don’t understand rhetoric. It won’t surprise you to learn I didn’t get a high enough score on the AP Exam to count as college credit.

It’s just a normal morning with my wonderful instructor Mrs. Sherman trying to teach us something. I’m sorry Mrs. Sherman. I even remember some of the summer reading books like The Scarlett Letter and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. I didn’t read them, but I remember. Did I mention you’re a great teacher?

All of the sudden, I hear my current favorite song come blasting out of my pocket. Oh no. I didn’t turn my phone down. The literal horror. Quickly I open and close my pink Razr (still my favorite phone) and pray to God my teacher didn’t notice.

She did.

As I’m fumbling to turn it down, it rings again and I realize it’s my mother trying to call me. The chorus to ‘You Are The Music in Me’ fills the classroom and Mrs. Sherman, fortunately amused, tells me to answer.

At this point, I’m nervous. My mom never calls us during school. She didn’t even like texting us during school hours because we should be paying attention. To get a call during class time must mean the apocalypse was upon us or I forgot I needed to catch the Braces Express for an orthodontist appointment.

I answer anxiously and then I hear her enthusiastic response. Okay, so no one’s dead. That’s a plus. I tell her I’m in class and ask why she’s calling. She then asks why I would answer and I let her know my teacher said I could. Finally, after what felt like 20 minutes, she gets to why she called me.

It’s National Talk Like a Pirate Day. Knowing my deep love of Will Turner aka Orlando Bloom from Pirates of the Caribbean, she thought I’d really like to know.

September 19 is a day that will live in the infamy of embarrassing moments that shaped my youth.

Moving away from my embarrassment, I really love this story. Sometimes when I talk about JT (my name for my mom when I’m referencing her stern side) I worry I give people the wrong impression because of how she sounds. My mom is the greatest. I wouldn’t trade her for any mom in the world, even Meryl Streep. Yes, she was strict and expected a lot from us, but she also called just to tell me it was Talk Like a Pirate Day because she knew I liked pirates. My mom has always been the Hannah Montana* of parents, the best of both worlds between fun and strict.

*I had to fit one more 2007 reference in there