The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement Movie Poster Image
A fun romp for girls of all ages.
  • G
  • 2004
  • 120 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 20 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 28 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than inform. Sets traditional fairy tale in current times and updates the culture of a monarchy to include modern female awareness and participation.

Positive Messages

Examines following the rules vs. following your heart and finds that with thoughtful action and honesty, both are possible. Proves that love is not only for the young; mature adults are entitled to romance and happiness, as well. Mia and her grandmother discuss arranged marriages as a means to secure the throne, and there are revelations about both loveless marriages and marriage-less loves.

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Princess Mia resorts to dishonesty before she has sorted out her responsibilities. She learns from her mistakes and is brave, honest, intelligent, and kind. She's also able to laugh at her own clumsiness and accept her imperfections. Genovia’s population is ethnically diverse. Some members of the white-wigged parliament are deliberately buffoonish.

 

Violence & Scariness

In one sequence, the princess briefly explores a dark, hidden passageway accompanied by spooky music. Her clumsiness leads to several tumbles, including one into a shallow pool. Other mild action scenes: guards fall on stairs; a horse is frightened and rears; and a character angrily stomps on another’s foot. The villain is noisy but essentially harmless.

 

Sexy Stuff

Romantic kisses in several scenes.

 

Language
Consumerism

Mont Blanc, Discovery Channel, Lacoste, Panera Bread, Piaggio, IBM, Premier Drums.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One champagne toast to celebrate.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this modern-day fairy tale sequel preserves the lighthearted fish-out-of-water comedy of the original Princess Diaries. Princess Mia is still delightfully overwhelmed by her unexpected ascent to the throne, but now, more grown up, she has to tackle some important matters such as marriage, true love, and her responsibility to the kingdom of Genovia. There are several scenes with romantic kisses, including a couple of the foot-popping variety.

 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAnita A. Smith April 9, 2008

Mia misbehaved

I read the reviews on this website before allowing my 8 year old to see this movie. It sounded harmless, so we saw it. However, there were several times I rea... Continue reading
Parent of a 1, 5, and 9 year old Written byAG Fan Parent April 10, 2012

Great, but was astounded at the G vs. PG

This wasn't horribly bad, but the G rating was completely ridiculous. First off, there was a joke about a gay guy that didn't bother me, but isn... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bymoviegeek April 9, 2008

Not as good as the first one :( BUT STILL GREAT!

I loved it when Julie Andrews (as the Queen) tells one of the councillor guys to "SHUT UP!" The whole movie is really funny, even for a teenager, and... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008

SQUAEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

lol, i am a sucker for romance, and i love this movie, the romance between nick and mia makes me squeal, bc i love love/hate relationships! lol! goodstuff!

What's the story?

In this sequel set five years after the first film, Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) is now a polished young woman ready to follow in her deceased father's footsteps as the heir to the throne of Genovia. Mia's grandmother, Queen Clarisse (Julie Andrews), believes it's time for Mia to replace her on the throne. But the scheming Viscount Mabrey (John Rhys-Davies) pushes Parliament to enforce an old law that requires that a princess be married before she can become a queen, and positions his own nephew -- Mia's distant relative -- to become king. So, Mia has 30 days to find a husband, to win over Genovia, and to learn how to be queen. Within a week she is engaged to a sweet and slightly klutzy English duke, Andrew (Callum Blue), but has an "I detest you"-type bickering attraction to Mabrey's nephew, Nicholas (Chris Pine). While capturing headlines with her gaffes, Mia wins over hearts with her goodness and down-to-earth caring. Best friend, Lily (Heather Matarazzo), returns to help her gain her stride and to give Mia a piece of normality in the decidedly unreal palace life.

Is it any good?

Like many sequels, THE PRINCESS DIARIES 2: ROYAL ENGAGEMENT loses some of the flavor of the first by trying too hard not to change a thing in the winning formula while telling a different story. The fantasy of being a princess is not the same as that of being a queen. This makeover is more subtle than taming hair and wearing makeup. Mia must establish a connection to the people of Genovia, while maturing and calibrating her own moral compass. The love story is stilted and missing some of the quirky subtlety Hathaway showed in Ella Enchanted, as she appears to fall for a sapphire-eyed suitor who is handsome but shallow. Finally, there is a distracting deluge of overblown characters who labor too hard to keep the movie light, from the ladies' maids to the young guardsman bellowing out orders while wooing Lily.

The scenes between Hathaway and Andrews are lovely, though, as the two are complementary souls. Grandmother Clarisse shelters Mia under the umbrella of her poise and dignity, while Mia reawakens the Queen's sense of impish fun. With Andrews singing -- albeit briefly -- for the first time in years, this sequel is worth watching for the sleepover scene alone.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this sequel compares with The Princess Diaries. Do you like it as well? Less? More?

  • Familes also might want to discuss how difficult it is to change centuries-old traditions, especially in royal families. Have you seen video footage of any royal weddings, like the 2011 wedding of England's Prince William and Kate Middleton?

  • What do you think Mia might do in the months that follow the movie's end?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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