Saturday, December 5, 2020

Netflix Picks: Princess Switch - Switched Again

What’s better than two versions of Vanessa Hudgens in a Christmas movie? Apparently, if you ask Netflix, the answer would be to have three. Their latest movie, a sequel to Princess Switch, has Vanessa Hudgens playing triple duty as Princess Stacy, Lady Margaret, and Fiona in Princess Switch: Switched Again.

The movie starts where the last one left off: Stacy is now married to Edward and has become Princess of Belgravia. They are off to Montenaro to attend the coronation of Margaret as Queen. It turns out that the King had passed away and with the heir abdicating, she was next in line. This led her to break up with Kevin, who she invited to coronation anyway.

Stacy, who believes her best friend Kevin and Margaret were meant for each other, tries to convince them both to spend time together to be able to talk about their feelings before the coronation. She proposes that they switch again so that Stacy can take care of Margaret’s royal duties while Margaret has the time she needs with Kevin.

The only problem with this switch is that Fiona, Margaret’s cousin and another doppelganger, has other plans. With the intent of getting crowned as Queen so she can steal money from the kingdom and run away to a country without extradition, she executes a switch with Stacy, who was pretending to be Margaret at the time. By the time she realizes that something has gone wrong with her plan, it was too late so she instead tries to get crowned right away with the help of Margaret’s conniving Chief of Staff Antonio.

Being a Christmas movie I think we all know what to expect from this in the end. All the characters get their happily-ever-after, with a surprise cameo from King Richard and Queen Amber of the Christmas Prince movies at the end, confirming fan speculation that all the Netflix holiday movies are in one cinematic universe — that means there are not just three versions of Vanessa Hudgens in this universe, but four (she also played Brooke in The Knight Before Christmas). I guess Netflix loves Vanessa Hudgens a lot then!

The first movie was more about the romance between the two lead couples, this second film, while it did have the romantic element, was more about their misadventures after having another switch. I can’t imagine how difficult and confusing this must be to film (and edit) since there are three versions of Vanessa. The person in charge of continuity for this one needs a bonus for doing such a good job! Usually, when I watch films or shows with one actor playing multiple characters you find inconsistencies in their scenes together. I did not find one (none that was easily noticeable anyway) in this movie.

It must be exhausting for Vanessa Hudgens to play all three roles since they all have different personalities (and accents). I would be so confused about who I am playing if I were in her place, especially during scenes where she was pretending to be someone who was also pretending to be someone else!

I already thought in the first movie that her leading men were a bit boring, but at least with this movie not being that much about the romance element, it did not matter. Vanessa had better chemistry with her leading man in A Knight Before Christmas (Josh Whitehouse) but to his credit, I did like Edward better in this one, although I can’t really pinpoint why.

Recommending this might be a bit of a stretch. I'd say watch at your own risk since it can be a bit slow-paced and slightly boring (I wanted to speed it up at several points to pick up the pace). While this movie is not the best holiday movie out there, Princess Switch: Switched Again was still entertaining with its equal parts of feel-good, romantic, cheeky, and funny sides. But if you have something better to do, maybe go do that instead. 


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