Oh my goodness, how did I not know about this movie? Like the last one, this movie has EVERYTHING. Princes. Nannies. Precocious Annoying Children. Single Moms with Grit. Kellie Martin. Fabulousness starts now. We’re talking about Smooch, which I always want to spell with a “t” in the middle, but apparently, that’s not right.
Daughter Zoe is obsessed with a Fairy Tale Guy named Flynn Stewart. She also has a vivid imagination and wants her mom to find her “mystery knight.” Mom wants her daughter to spend more time with math and less time with Prince Flynn (who now is a Frog Prince, or something). Dad is dead, and Zoe says that “Daddy would want you to have a happy ending.” So a woman can’t have a happy ending without a partner? OK.
Marquis Percival is a very greasy British guy who has way too much hair, and has a manservant (Wilkins) who does not approve of Percy’s plan to marry for money / position rather than love. Wilkins says deep down, there’s a prince of a guy just waiting to get out…so we’re going to persist on the Frog Prince Theme. We are at Percy’s engagement party to a blonde girl in a gold dress named Hillary, and she’s atrocious, and her parents are awful – it’s NIGHTTIME and mom is wearing a hat, and she’s not even at a British Wedding Yet. His parents are kind of crappy too, and Percy’s life is flashing before his eyes and he has to get out before his wedding and life are planned for him.
Percy ends up at some kind of seedy bar, super drunk, and playing darts with the salt of the earth, i.e. flannel wearing overweight dudes. Said dudes follow our drunken hero into the park and we presume they beat the crap out of him (amid the sound of ribbet, ribbet).
Mom Gwen is a very controlling mother, who relies way too much on her housekeeper because she has to work so much, and Zoe is too intelligent for her own good. She goes to a private school, and has a crush on floppy haired kid Sam (who doesn’t realize that the curly-haired brunette is awful). They are also dissecting frogs in their class and a) they are too young to be doing it – it’s like Elliott in ET here and b) the frogs they are given are way too small to do anything for the advancement of scientific knowledge. (FYI, she doesn’t dissect it and the CGI frog escapes in the girls’ room.) It does have the added bonus of freaking out the snobby brunette, so there’s that. While she heads to the park to set her frog free, she finds Percy, and she thinks that she turned her frog into a prince of a guy – apparently because he has webbed toes. EWWWWWWW.
So she decides to take him home in a shopping cart – and Manservant Wilkins sees them and follows her home. No one notices this guy in a trenchcoat and bowler hat follow a little girl? This is how Lifetime Killer Movies start.
Zoe and her mom live in an apartment that is nothing but French doors and huge windows. It’s very disconcerting. But apparently now, Percy is at their apartment, has amnesia, finally takes a shower. She insists that he’s the Frog Prince, and Percy doesn’t believe her, but has no other explanation. Housekeeper quits on Zoe and her mom because Zoe is a huge brat, and Mom is at her wits’ end about what to do with her daughter who can’t stay home alone. Through all of this conversation, Percy has been hiding in a closet reading Zoe’s Frog Prince Books. Now he completely believes that he’s a Frog Prince.
He also overhears mom and Zoe reminisce about dead Dad, and feels…something? IDK, but Wilkins sees it and decides to leave him in mom’s pink bathrobe in this apartment with so many windows.
Gwen’s sister is filling the role of Sassy Friend by saying that Gwen needs to go on a date, get on out there, girl, you better get a life! And by pretending to help the neighbor lady with her laundry, Zoe manages to steal Percy some clothes so he doesn’t have to live in the pink velour bathrobe. Gwen is also told she needs to live in the now by her brother-in-law (honestly, it’s unclear). But the plan now is to convince Gwen that Percy is the perfect new male nanny. Shades of Who’s the Boss. He also gets a haircut and a shave and after a meet-cute in her diner (where he says he’s a nanny to the English monarchy) he gets an interview for the job.
This movie has the added bonus of having a lot of things shot on location in San Francisco, so there’s some pretty scenery as Zoe fakes an ID, a CV, and a fake name (Flynn Stewart, the name of the hero in her books). He also manages to do that very fun thing about giving snobby brunette girl her come-uppance. He also foils a robbery and thus is late for his interview (which he nails by the way). Also, Percy is having a lot of flashbacks to his previous life, but he can’t figure it all out.
His first day doesn’t go well – the bacon catches fire and he washes red with white. And through it all, Gwen is very demanding, but doesn’t seem to soften towards him, even though she thinks he’s cute. And Wilkins is still observing the whole thing, but apparently still thinks Percy needs some alone time with this gullible family. But now there is a San Francisco montage where Gwen and Percy get the feels for each other – he gets her to loosen up at the arcade that they featured in The Princess Diaries, and there are some nice shots of the bridge and the water. Also, she says something in French, and it’s seriously a bad accent. She also has a nice scene about how she’s stuck in her life because her husband died. Kellie Martin is very good at having tears stand in her eyes while she details her life.
Percy tells Zoe she needs to strike while the iron is hot with floppy haired Sam, and she doesn’t take it that well. Gwen’s brother-in-law (who’s a cop) tries to tell Gwen that there is no record of Flynn Stewart being a nanny to the royal family, but Gwen won’t hear of it. And then they play dolls together, and have a very romantic time drying dishes. Because that’s a super romantic chore to do. Right?
They end up at the mall, and Percy sees his horrible intended, and all his memories come back. He writes Zoe a letter to say that he’s not the Frog Prince, after all, but can’t bring himself to leave the actual apartment because she’s just so sweet when she sleeps. Whatever. Gwen finally takes off her wedding ring because she’s ready for her life to begin and it’s Valentine’s Day and he can’t ruin it for the two girls in his life.
Oh, snap! The comeuppance speech to that snobby brunette didn’t work! Crappy Brunette ripped up Zoe’s valentine to her floppy haired crush. THAT BITCH. And apparently Zoe can’t figure it out that Brunette Bitch did it, so she blames Percy – for encouraging her? All of this is to get Percy to say a very nice speech about how he’d defend her honor so that Gwen can overhear it, and plan another picnic in the dusk by the water. In February. With a fire. Aren’t there laws about fires in public parks?
Side note – it’s super creepy that he keeps calling her “Mistress Zoe.” He gives them both handmade valentine cards. So much love, y’all. But he has a big secret to reveal, and he can’t bring himself to do it, even though Gwen is confessing that she’s got hearts for eyeballs right about now. And their kiss is cut short by the brother-in-law and Percy’s monster parents and just like Keyser Soze, he’s gone.
Cue the sad times for everyone involved. Percy gets some words of wisdom from Wilkins, who has quit his job as manservant…for plot reasons?
Zoe takes all her Frog Prince paraphernalia out of her room and has to live in the now. Gwen says forget him, but then she finds the pukka shell necklace he bought her and can’t stop the tears (there’s a story there, but it’s like 4 montages ago, so we’ll just skip it for now.)
Floppy-haired Sam shows up at Zoe’s apartment to apologize about the ripped up card, and, and then, when Percy shows up to apologize to both of them, Sam assists him to storm the castle walls (i.e. to grab the fire escape.) It’s a needless site gag (apparently he’s got vertigo or something) but it proves that he’s ready to face his fears for love. He gives a big speech that he’s super-duper in love with her, and it’s way overwritten, and she just can.not.resist. They kiss, and there is applause. Because when you kiss the love of your life, there should always be applause.
Cut to: They are married, have a new restaurant where Wilkins works, and they have a new baby named Lily and she has webbed toes so we don’t doubt his paternity. Again. Ew. And Zoe and Floppy-Haired Sam share some gum and they all live happily ever after.
Didn’t I tell you this movie had everything? (Well, almost everything. It should have taken place in a Small Town, and THEN, THEN we’d have everything.) But minor quibbles. An amusing story, with a lot of frogs. I don’t think I need to keep this one on my “favorites,” but I was glad to watch it, you know, just so you don’t have to.