Movie Mom

Movie Mom


The Princess Diaries

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:References to kissing
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:Some comic pratfalls and a car crash (no one hurt)
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:2001

This is a great big luscious lollypop of a movie, terrific fun for girls of any age and for their families, too.

Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) is a shy 15-year-old who says, “My expectation in life is to be invisible, and I’m good at it.” She dreams of a “foot-popping” kiss from high school hunk Josh Bryant (Erik von Detten) (that’s a kiss so good that it makes your foot pop up) and she would like to be able to get up in front of the class to speak without going to pieces. Her sympathetic mother, an artist, her best friend Lily (Heather Matarazzo), and her “baby,” a beat-up Mustang she is having repaired, keep her going.

Just before her 16th birthday, she gets a visit from her grandmother (Julie Andrews), whom she has never met. An even bigger surprise is the reason for the visit. It turns out that Mia’s grandmother is the queen of Genovia, her late father was the king, and that makes her – a princess! Mia will have to get some fast princess lessons to get ready for the annual ball. That is, if she decides to accept the job, which is not too appealing. As she says to her mother, “Just in case I’m not enough of a freak already, you add a tiara!”

Things get worse when Lily feels deserted and a couple of very public mistakes make Mia feel that she is not up to the job. But this would not be a fairy tale if everyone did not live happily ever after, so somehow everyone’s wishes come true.

This is a terrific movie for any age. It might not be of much interest to boys, though Hathaway is spectacularly gorgeous (the least realistic part of the movie is the highly ineffective attempt to make her look like an ugly duckling), and there are some cool cars and very funny moments. But it is a wonderful story about growing up, finding ourselves, and taking chances, with lots of great things for families to talk about afterwards. The queen’s head of security (Hector Elizondo in another impeccable performance) quotes Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous words, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” And Mia realizes that the important part of being a princess is not what it does for her, but what it makes it possible for her to do for others.

Parents should know that Mia drives without a license and manages to escape a ticket using tactics they might find troubling.

The movie is rated G because it has no profanity, violence, or sexual material, and there is very little to concern parents. But that does not make it a kids-only movie. This is a family movie in the best sense, a movie that the whole family will enjoy. This might be a good time to tell the kids about some of your own mistakes and fears when you were Mia’s age, and what you did to help you move on from them. They may also want to talk about what teens should consider before deciding to kiss someone, and how important it is to be loyal to true friends.

Video/DVD notes: There is no Genovia, but it might have been inspired by Monaco, where an American actress became a real-life princess, the late Grace Kelly. Families will enjoy seeing some of her movies on video, especially “High Society” and To Catch a Thief.



Previous Posts

TrueSpark: Teaching Children and Teens About Character With Quality Films
I am honored to serve on the advisory committee for TrueSpark, which provides quality films and curricula for schools at no cost to use in teaching character. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/akEWIRfjnxk?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Parents and teachers who want to lear

posted 8:22:33pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Genevieve Bailey of "I Am Eleven"
There's a reason that so many heroes and heroines of classic literature are eleven years old. It is that last magical moment at the cusp of childhood and adolescence, which is what makes it so fascinating and delightful. Genevieve Bailey remembered the year she was 11 as one of the happiest of her l

posted 8:09:47pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »

The Best TV for Kids May Be Online
Children have more choices than ever on television, but some of the best viewing for kids is online. Common Sense Media has a great list of family-friendly YouTube stars. I'd add EvanTube to the list. Newsweek calls him The Most Popular Kid You've Never Heard Of, with 272 million views of his engagi

posted 3:59:29pm Sep. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Fifty Years of Fiddler on the Roof
The Yiddish-language stories of Sholem Alechim, collected as Tevye the Dairyman and The Railroad Stories (Library of Yiddish Classics), inspired one of the most successful, influential, and widely performed Broadway musicals of all time, "Fiddler on the Roof," which opened fifty years ago this week.

posted 8:00:47am Sep. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Great Cinematographers on Instagram
Indiewire has a gorgeous array of Instagram feeds from Hollywood cinematographers. Be sure to talke a look so you can follow them.

posted 8:00:27am Sep. 19, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.