So we’re off of Christmas, and New Year’s, and now we’re just stuck in Winter. But not just any winter – it’s A Royal Winter! I watched this last year, when I was hiding from my kids, but I don’t really remember it, so am happy to dive in!
Maggie Marks is a law graduate interviewing for a job as we start. She’s got a Sassy Friend that we meet in the third scene. She loves working with children, and she doesn’t really know if she wants to be a lawyer, and she’s exhausted, so Sassy Friend invites her to go to Europe to just relax. The country name is Calpurnia, southwest of the French Alps. Will they speak with a British accent? Yes!
Prince Adrian is severely over-scheduled, gearing up for his coronation. His mum, the Queen, is played by Samantha Bond, of Downton Abbey, and that really old BBC version of Mansfield Park. Adrian also has his own man, Felix, and I really think there is some kind of very subtextual ‘ship going on there. They do a lot with their eyes. Adrian and the Queen don’t see eye-to-eye – she wants him to buckle down and be royal, and he wants to be a regular guy. You know, that old chestnut.
Sassy Friend and Maggie are on vacation now in Calpurnia, and are sight-seeing in a snowy village square. There’s a magic wishing fountain, because of course there is in this fairy tale kingdom. When they split up to sightsee, SF tells Maggie that she has to do something adventurous, something “not her.” Way to love her for who she is, Sassy Friend!
Maggie and Prince Adrian have a meet cute in a street, where he first runs over her red hat while on a motorcycle, and then steals it. That doesn’t seem very Princely, does it? But then he apologizes and offers to buy her a latte. But he also steals her watch. He likes sleight of hand. It’s super creepy. But he sets up a date for 8:30 that night at the magic fountain.
Adrian wants to open up his coronation to the public, but Queenie wants to keep it with the nobles. He’s chafing at the confines of being almost King. Poor baby. He’s late to meet Maggie at the magic fountain, but when he does show up, SF is super pushy about getting Maggie to go have coffee with Adrian. And my son is very distracted by the fact that Adrian looks like he’s wearing lipstick.
Coffee shop owner recognizes Adrian, but does him a solid and doesn’t say “Your Highness.” By their conversation, Maggie and the Prince seem to have so much in common! They both feel trapped by their circumstances and their love of coffee. I don’t know what it is about this actor, but there is something about his face that looks super weird and it is very distracting. But Maggie likes it enough to want to see him again.
Not sure what SF does, but it seems like she paid for this vacation, and they have a super amazingly large room. Seriously, it’s like a suite – they each have their own huge bedroom. Adrian has surprised Maggie with a lovely tray of room service breakfast and an invitation for a morning excursion. SF tells Maggie to go, and after the commercial, we’re seeing them walk around some beautiful lake with some super fake flurries. And they bond over their love of kids (Adrian coaches volleyball, and she reads to underprivileged kids). Date is cut short by a royal “work thing.”
SF and Maggie convene at an art gallery, where, of course, SF sees a portrait of Adrian as Prince on the wall and freaks out. And this portrait is so fantastically awful, it’s like Squidward painted it from SpongeBob SquarePants. Holy Crap, Maggie went on a date with the Prince! SF immediately googles, and finds out that he’s known as “The Playboy Prince” and I know I’ve read that Harlequin Romance title somewhere. But Maggie’s not having any of the fact that he didn’t tell her who he is. But he wants to show him the “real him” so he takes her to the church where he coaches volleyball. His man Felix is there. Felix is much more attractive than Adrian. For reals.
Adrian spends most of his money on this youth center that has a volleyball court, a library, and a stage for choir practice. He’s so altruistic, you guys. His own mom doesn’t know about it! Maggie sees the little girl who was peddling hand-made tchotchkes the day before, and now this girl is all super shy. So Maggie has to give her a pep talk, and she gets onstage to sing Frere Jacques. This song never.ends. But Adrian sees it all, and if there is a moment where he falls in love with her, it’s right there. Aww.
Adrian invites her for dinner at the palace. And since he didn’t think she had anything to wear, he also sends over a bunch of dresses. That’s weird.
Queenie insists on a full background check on Maggie, and my son is distracted now by the fact any picture of the castle in this movie looks fake. And that they have British accents again.
Maggie’s hair looks awesome. Adrian is wearing a cobalt blue tuxedo with white tie. WHAT.IS.THAT?
Dinner is, as always, awkward, and everyone sets up Maggie to make some kind of gauche American statement. Which of course she does, but not like some people that are in the news today. But anyway, Queenie says goodnight, and Adrian sneaks out to throw snowballs at Maggie’s hotel windows. They walk in more fake snow flurries.
Paparazzi catches the royal first kiss in the snow. Those bloodsuckers. It makes the front page of the local paper, and Queenie is SUPER.PISSED. Paparazzi is now camped out by Maggie’s hotel, and now Maggie’s dad is also super.pissed because he thinks that being caught kissing a prince will negatively impact her prospects at the soul-sucking law firm from the beginning of the movie. Her dad sucks.
She gets the job – – – because Queenie engineered it! That bitch! Maggie needs to start right away, because Queenie just wants her to get out of her son’s life, and she thinks Maggie will take the safe choice of a job with benefits. Never underestimate the power of a medical plan, especially in this day and age. SF is all about true love, but Maggie is correct in saying that SHE JUST MET THIS GUY.
Maggie shows up at the youth center to tell him about the job, and how she’s gots to go, and how they are from two different worlds, blah blah blah. Adrian asks her to stay, but Maggie and her perfectly straight hair have to go back to New York. And Adrian feels the sad times, according to my son.
Maggie shows up to speak to Queenie, and then it cuts to Maggie walking wistfully through the fake flurries. She had to tell Queenie something, but what was it? (Youth Center?) Adrian is super upset during the choir’s rendition of Lavender’s Blue. And the Queen shows up at the youth center – and she’s so amazed at what Adrian has done with his life – she feels like a huge bitch for not ever realizing that her son was a nice person.
Maggie and SF are invited to the coronation – but Maggie still has to leave to take that job. But before she can leave the hotel, Queenie shows up in a car (driven by handsome Felix) to speak with her – to tell her that Adrian misses her, and that she convinced the soul-sucking law firm to hire Maggie. But she’s sorry for overstepping and wants to make amends – to be legal counsel in Calpurnia. Or something. Maggie still is indecisive, because we still have ten minutes left in the movie.
Maggie makes a statement in a gorgeous red dress as she walks into the coronation hall. Adrian is now super happy and accepts his crown, while Queenie almost bursts with pride. And then they make out in the middle of his ballroom. The End.
I had fun watching this one, as my son provided a lot of colorful commentary. He’s a very literal child – had to ask why Maria’s parents couldn’t hear them singing “Tonight” when we watched West Side Story – but he’s entertaining.
There are a bunch more movies coming up for this winter season, and I’m psyched to get to them. I don’t know that there are any other “Royal” ones on the horizon, but if there are, I’ll find them, just so you don’t have to.