Romance, Royalty, and Cheesy Christmas Movies
by Jazmin Viayra
Christmas is a wonderful time of year filled with tasty baked goods, cute colorful decorations, family get-togethers, and corny over-the-top Netflix movies. Two movies on the Netflix Christmas movies list are “A Christmas Prince” and “The Princess Switch.” Both films have a similar plot — a normal girl’s life gets turned upside down when she encounters royalty and falls in love with a prince who is next in line to take the throne. Despite the corniness of the movies, they are enjoyable, which is why Netflix keeps pumping out these types of films (there is even a sequel to “A Christmas Prince” called “A Christmas Prince: A Royal Wedding” that was released on Nov. 30 2018). These Netflix Christmas movies sell a fantasy to people, especially to women, of a rags to riches story which is further idealized through the Christmas setting.
An obvious reason for the success of these movies is their setting. They both take place in snowy, make-believe European-esque countries. “A Christmas Prince” is set in Aldovia, while “The Princess Switch” is set in Belgravia. The fictional cities displayed are decorated with wreaths, ornaments, presents, and christmas lights. The ambience of the setting is further shown with toy stores, people singing Christmas carols, and bakeries. These beautiful set designs remind the audience of how their own adorned streets as well as an idealized version of Christmas decor, which gives them a sense of anticipation for holidays.
The romance aspect mixed with the fact that the main love interest is a prince, is another appeal of these films for people. I mean, who doesn’t want a good-looking, charming, and surprisingly single prince to waltz into their lives and fall in love with them? These princes always have British accents, solidifying the United States’ weird obsession with British accents and associating them with the “high class.” What better time to fall in love than in the dead of winter? The development of romantic relationships in the movies is surprisingly well done; their dialogue is still cringey but their relationships are sweet. “A Christmas Prince” has its two leads, Amber (played by Rose Mclver) and Prince Richard (played by Ben Lamb), bond over snowball fights, sledding, horse riding, piano, and walking around the forest. At one point, the prince saves the protagonist from getting eaten by a poorly made CGI wolf. “The Princess Switch” has two romances. One is between the main female character, Stacy (played by Vanessa Hudgens), and Prince Edward (played by Sam Palladio), while the other is between Stacy’s best friend, Kevin (played by Nick Sagar), and the Duchess Margaret (also played by Vanessa Hudgens). Stacy and the prince bond over giving to a charity and Stacy’s best friend and Margaret bond over snowball fights. Despite only knowing each other for a couple of days, the main characters in both films fall in love and decide to get married. Who needs to actually date and know another person when you are marrying into royalty?
As if the holiday season and handsome princes are not enough, the life of royalty is an exciting lifestyle that not many get to experience. It is something we grow up being fascinated with because of Disney movies and fairytale books. These types of movies give audiences a glimpse of what it’s like to have luxurious ball gowns, expensive jewelry, servants, and live in a castle that is hundreds of years old. The main characters in both films have their Cinderella “rags-to-riches” makeover, which is typically preceded by them walking into a ball with all eyes on them. Their beauty takes everyone’s breath away and the prince falls more in love with them.
The success of movies such as “A Christmas Prince” and “The Princess Switch” reveals audiences’ desire to experience love and a life of royalty with a Christmas spin that gets us ready for the holidays.