Last year, Netflix’s A Christmas Prince was a surprising hit. The story of a blogger/journalist sneaking into the palace of a foreign country then falling in love with the royal heir was…well, it was kinda charming. Weird but kinda charming. Netflix decided to capitalize on that popularity and released the sequel, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, this year. It’s not as good.
A year has passed since we last saw Amber (Rose McIver) and Richard (Ben Lamb). They have been traveling back and forth between New York and Aldovia. (From what I can tell, the only reason Amber didn’t move to Aldovia is because she wanted to be her own person? It doesn’t make a lot of sense. It makes an even worse montage.) Now it’s time for Amber to begin (?) planning her Christmas wedding. But there is trouble in Aldovia! The finances of the kingdom are a mess and no one knows why. Plus Queen Helena (Alice Krige) keeps putting pressure on Amber to keep her wedding traditional.
Ugh. I can’t even type out this description without cringing. I’ll admit that I was charmed by the first movie, even though it had tons of problems. This one makes less sense. Like, why would Amber choose to continually travel around the world for a long-distance engagement? She’s a blogger. She can literally do that job anywhere. Sure, the writers are pushing the father-daughter relationship this time around but at no point do they mention that is why she stayed in New York. And I can’t imagine any royal family not wanting to keep someone like Amber close to try to teach her the duties of the queen. Also, Queen Amber makes me laugh. Can you imagine living somewhere where your royalty is named Amber?
Then we get into the actual story. There are two big conflicts going on - Amber being forced to have this awful wedding planner plan her wedding (by the way, who waits until a couple weeks BEFORE the wedding to plan it?!) and the financial trouble of the kingdom. (The writers are very careful to call it a kingdom and not a country.) Of course, both are solved when Amber decides to investigate the financial trouble on her own. Well, with her two BFFs, anyway. Amber solves all the problems, marries her prince, and lives happily ever after, I guess?
The sequel absolutely drained all of the charm out of the first movie. Even Richard’s little sister, Emily (Honor Kneafsey), is reduced to a boring side player. She has the opportunity to get a cute little side story about first love but it gets buried under the financial issue. Oh, and suddenly she’s some sort of terrible hacker? She says she can hack into a database but ends up doing it by accident? Poor Emily would have been better if the royals just sent her off to boarding school so she didn’t have to suffer through all of this.
This is another one of those movies that isn’t so terrible that you want to throw your remote through the television. It’s just a boring waste of time. Please tell me they aren’t going to have a Royal Baby movie next year.