(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from The Princess Diaries. Throughout all this, Doug sounds like he's bored)
Doug (vo): Oh, I hope you guys appreciate what I do for you. This is The Princess Diaries, and if you couldn’t guess, I didn’t see this when it came out in theaters, but it’s Disneycember, so I was kind of hoping maybe this would be that little surprise that caught me off-guard...and it’s not. All right, let’s look at the story.
Doug (vo): Anne Hathaway is a really nerdy girl who just wants to disappear and be invisible. But suddenly, her grandmother who never visits, played by Julie Andrews, comes in and reveals that, in fact, she is a queen, and that through some complicated bloodline, Anne Hathaway is, in fact, a princess, and that by blood, she’s the only one who can take over ruling. Hathaway, of course, doesn’t want the position and just wants to disappear, but Julie Andrews thinks that the more she can talk to her and the more that she can convince her, the more she’ll come around to taking the post or else it’s gonna be handed over to an evil guy who wants to do bad things with it, probably. I don’t know, we never exactly figure out his politics, but he looks bad, so I’m sure it’s gonna be bad.
Doug (vo): What follows is, of course, every cliché you can think of in this setup. The scenes where they have to act all elegant and she screws up, the visual jokes, the scenes where she has to act like she’s princess-y, but, ooh, slapstick is gonna happen, the kid and the grandmother aren’t gonna get along, but over time, they will learn from one another and they’ll find out all sorts of neat things. And just when you think they're gonna get along, all of a sudden, something happens to throw a wrench into the works and they think they hate each other, but then, of course, they come around and, oh, you’ve heard that story before? Don’t worry. There’s about a million other clichés you’ve heard before, including the idiot bad boy she wants to date, even though there’s a perfectly good boy that wants to date her, but, of course, she doesn’t realize it, the nerdy best friend that, of course, she’s gonna betray, the bully that never says anything real bullies do or does anything real bullies do, the goof-up she’s gonna have that somehow don’t really goof-up anything and everyone’s still happy when she takes the position. I think the only thing missing is the actual political talk. Yeah, if she’s gonna rule a kingdom, shouldn’t she, you know, know about the kingdom and shouldn’t she know about politics, shouldn’t she be thrust into this? No, it’s more important to have her wave properly or wear the correct dresses and...oh, geez. The director of this movie is Garry Marshall, who I’ve seen in interviews and is a great producer, I’m sure he’s very nice, but, God. I don’t think I’ve seen one movie from him that I liked. He kind of does for the female audience what, say, Vin Diesel does for the male audience. Yeah, we know it’s stupid and it’s really bad, but we kind of give it a pass because, hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we were in that situation? Well, I don’t like a lot of Vin Diesel films, and I don’t like a lot of these films either. The formula is beyond tired and beyond predictable. You can guess every single moment that’s going to happen. As I was watching it, I was pleading, pleading for it to give me something new, something I haven’t seen before, something that makes it unique.
[Many of the film's main characters are shown]
Doug (vo): And I guess if you wanted to get kind of specific, there is one thing that sort of makes it unique, and that’s the performances. The majority of actors in this movie are trying their hardest to give a role that you haven’t seen before, even though the role has been written millions of times. And to their credit, some of them kind of work, like Julie Andrews does give her own very unique charm to the whole thing. While the role is not written well at all, she does, in fact, give it the certain dignity. Every single time she talks, you know that not only is she trying to connect with her daughter, but she is trying to be a politician, she’s trying to balance everything out, and you hear the desperation in her voice to get this done. So I think she works out really well. I never quite got on the Hate Anne Hathaway Boat like a lot of other people did, I just never thought she picked very good movies. But as the nerdy girl, she does okay, and as the pretty girl, she does okay. There probably could’ve been an actress that could bring more to it, but at the same time, she has nothing to work with, and for what she did, I think it’s pretty impressive. There’s a head of security character we’ve seen a million times, but again, he does pretty well. There’s a hair designer we’ve seen a million times, but again, that guy’s acting is actually very funny.
Doug (vo): But even with all these people trying their hardest, they just can’t make do with a story that is so damn recycled, and tropes that have been drilled into the ground and those goddamn musical moments where you just wanna go, "Oh, how inspiring! How whimsical!". I just wanna puke all over the damn screen over her pretty little dress. I guess if you’re looking for a movie that is just the straightforward Cinderella story and you want to pretend yourself as the pretty girl being made up...it’s still kind of bad. But if you’re just going in for pure fantasy and you’re unbelievably forgiving, I guess this film is for you. Anyone else, I'd say this is a diary you can definitely skip.
[A scene showing Anne Hathaway's character dancing at a party is shown]