I know, I know, it’s 2018, and Christmas is over. But technically, we are in the 12 Days of Christmas at least until January 6, so I will skirt A Prince for Christmas in under the wire with this gem from the Ion Channel. What will be the difference between My Christmas Prince, A Christmas Prince, and A Princess for Christmas? Or Crown for Christmas or Royal Christmas or even that delight that keeps on giving in my nightmares, A Royal Christmas Ball? Let’s dive in!
Prince Duncan Humpries of Balemont was sad, and went to Small Town America, where he met waitress Emma and fell in love. This is their story. This is all told in title cards before we even start the movie. And apparently Kelly LeBrock and Maxwell Caulfield are in this movie. If Maxwell Caufield gets on a motorcycle and someone starts singing, I will be in absolute movie heaven. But somehow, I don’t think that is going to happen in these requisite opening shots of snowy small town America.
Anyway, movie starts proper with Emma breaking up with handsome boyfriend Todd, because she wants to travel, and he’s got his business. (Which is apparently selling cars). And she has to put her sister Alice through college, and he’s stressing that she’s got to be practical, but timing is everything, babe. You know he’s a douche because he says babe.
Prince Duncan is failing his fencing lesson with Geoffey, his trusted confidant and valet. (Kind of like Mr. Bates, but without the limp). Why? Because in 7 days’ time, he’s got to marry a complete stranger in front of a bunch of people. Where are all these kingdoms that have these types of arranged marriages? He doesn’t feel a spark with Isabelle, his intended. Valet Geoffrey says follow your heart. Treason!
Kelly LeBrock looks freaking awful, but she’s a very concerned mom. “Are you all right, dear? You haven’t even touched your pheasant.” Apparently the royal family of Balemont’s popularity is sinking, so the most spectacular Christmas Wedding is just the thing to make the people of this land realize they don’t need a constitutional democracy. Because magic of Christmas + weddings = monarchies forever!
But even though Duncan’s parents were in love when they got married, it’s not important for their son to be in love – he needs to find one he can’t live without! He asks his dad for advice. Which basically is, “When it happens, you’ll know it.” Brilliant.
Duncan sneaks out of the palace to find true love in America. The night shot of the palace looks absolutely stupid, and has very tacky lights. Come on, set designers. Get it together!
Emma and Alice live by themselves, so I guess their parents are dead (3 years now). They’re in a rush, so they eat waffles with their hands as they walk out the door. That just seems really sticky.
Apparently this small town America is Aurora, New York. Prince Duncan is fighting with his GPS, and he gets into a car accident on the very unplowed streets of this backwater town. Words cannot express how much I don’t understand how he got here, while trying to find the New York Expressway. If he flew into La Guardia or JFK, there would be no reason why he’s in the middle of nowhere Cayuga County. But this detour allows Duncan to spy Emma on the snowy streets and think, wow.
Alice is raising money for a trip or something, and finagles Duncan into buying bouquets for her sister on Christmas Eve. It’s weird. Cut to diner where Emma works, and Todd arrives. He can’t take a hint, can he? He just told her “don’t make the biggest mistake of your life” and he’s kind of grabby. Ew. Yuck. Blech.
Duncan meets cute with Emma in the diner. But he totally noticed her in the snow. Oooooh, sparks are flying!
Do diners in New York serve grits? Prince Duncan is sneering at biscuits and gravy – and that just can’t be a thing – how do you sneer at that? Plus he’s very snobby about his tea, although I can relate to that one. Duncan introduces himself as David, from Europe. Just Europe and finds the local Bed and Breakfast, which is painted in the most ghastly shade of purple, but Yes! it’s’ one of those hotels with Christmas trees in every conceivable place! Nancy the lady at the B&B thinks he looks familiar – she blackmails him into giving her a shout out on the B&B later on, in order for her not to spill the beans about his being a Prince and all.
Emma reads the mail – past due bills, and a letter of acceptance for Alice that is addressed to Ms. Alice. So is her name Alice Alice? Because what type of admissions office addresses letters like that? Emma can’t afford tuition…is she going to go back to Todd in order to have security? Or is she going to have to sell the diner?
Emma never works on the 19th of December – that’s the anniversary of her parents’ death. So Yes! Snowy Graveside Chat with dead relatives!
Prince Duncan has never heard of a snow angel. It’s so freeing, y’all! He just unloads on her that he’s never been in love. That’s a total lot of unloading. And Now they’re totally gonna Ethan Frome it down a hill on a very rickety sled. He’s very nervous. I would be too, I read that book. But they love it and whew, they don’t hit a tree.
This totally small town has a store dedicated to cupcakes. And there’s another Christmas tree in the window. Yay! He misses his one train and asks for another date with Emma the following day. And she agrees, right before placing a For Sale sign on the diner window.
Duncan is turning to B&B lady Nancy for dating / love advice, and he gets the 411 on Emma and her dead parents (car accident). And how Emma had to put her life on hold to raise her sister, Alice.
Kelly LeBrock is reading in the palace, and it totally the same book that they used in Little House on the Prairie, the MacGuffy Reader. Why do I know that? Trust me, I just do. Seriously, set designer, there are other old fashioned books, and unless she’s learning her ABCs, there is no other reason why a queen would be reading this book.
Prince Duncan’s idea of helping Emma in the diner is to revamp her menu. Line cook Max wants to be a chef but doesn’t know what suet is. I don’t have high hopes for this guy’s culinary career. So Duncan is now helping Max with his homework in a bar. And now Emma needs to show how down-home she is by beer-drinking and pool-shooting. Oh man, doucheTodd shows up at the bar – super jealousy rears its ugly head.
FIGHT!!!!! With pool cues! Duncan wins. It’s all that fencing training.
Emma just said “There is no Prince Charming” to justify settling for doucheTodd instead of dreaming for something big. To Prince Charming, who says “Fairy Tales do come true, sometimes.” But also, small town America is so much better than living in a castle. Huh?
Emma placed her Christmas tree right next to the open fireplace. That is such a fire hazard. That is going to bug me for the rest of the movie. Fire sucks.
It’s below zero in this small town, and Duncan has arranged a horse-drawn carriage. Don’t care how warm your coat is, that’s just a dumb idea. Plus, Emma’s hood messes up her hair (But honestly, don’t think Duncan will care).
They’re at a restaurant – Max is cooking salmon and veal, and Alice is playing O Come All Ye Faithful on the violin.
DoucheTodd shows up at the purple B&B, and he’s gonna find out that Duncan is Prince Duncan! He’s gonna attempt to ruin things, because acting like a douche is in his name. And he goes to tell Alice, who kiss blocks her sister at her front door, because she’s upset about the whole lying about being a prince thing. Oh, and the fact that apparently, his wedding to that Isabelle person is still on, according to the tabloid.
He didn’t think he’d fall in love while he was in Aurora. But she’s not having it. “Two men in my life, and the honest one turns out the be the used-car salesman.” BURN.
Exit Duncan from the Diner.
And enter montage of their greatest hits of romance – so we can remember the whole movie that we just saw. And Geoffrey shows up to escort Duncan back home. And Emma has to walk by the B&B to what…make sure he leaves? Seriously, scriptwriter. WTF.
Duncan’s trip to America was character building, because now he clears the table. And stands his ground to say he’s in love with Emma, and just like that, Kelly LeBrock is ok with him marrying a commoner. Now, go get the girl, Duncan!
Alice is reading Gothic Literature that is basically Twilight meets Jane Eyre.
Alice and Emma are meeting the train for flowers (secondary B plot) and guess who shows up in uniform (and valet?) Duh. Cue swelling violins.
Emma says to her prince “You can do better than me.” Oh, sweetie. He doesn’t kneel down, but he does ask the question, and apparently, the wedding is tomorrow. And Max is the best man! Sassy Friend!
There’s an epilogue – Max got a restaurant, Alice plays for the Philharmonic, DoucheTodd is now “King of Cars” and Emma and Duncan marry and do something in the Alps. And a very happy Christmas to everyone!
This movie had so many things. Not a ton of Christmas trees to mar the scene, but a lot of clichés, nonetheless. Most of all, it’s a bummer that cool rider has just gotten…old. Dangit. Anyway, I watched, just so you don’t have to.