Princess: A Modern Fairy Tale (2008)

“A few years after their graduation from Princeton, Louis Baxter, who retired having sold his business, takes in college-buddy William, who desperately nears the end of his trust fund after several fully failed career-attempts. Louis takes William along to L.A.’s weirdest society event, the annual endangered animals benefit. This year, to raise more money she auctions a single dinner, which William bids his last capital on. He wins, according to Louis a shrewd business networking opportunity. But he’s love-spelled by Ithaca, while she believes him to be the seeker, a long-awaited savior for the castle’s most secret reality.”

– KGF Vissers, IMDB

Princess: A Modern Fairy Tale is a 2008 television film brought to us by ABC Family. The film stars Kevin “Kip” Pardue and Nora Zehetner. According to Wikipedia, Kip Pardue, who plays the main male lead, was named by Armani Exchange as “One of the Top 10 Upcoming Actors in 2001”. Nora Zehetner followed up her role in Princess: A Modern Fairy Tale with the role of Dr. Reed Adamson on the show Grey’s Anatomy. The movie was filmed in Toronto, Ontario. The castle the princess lives in is a real location in Toronto, Casa Loma, which was built between 1911-1914.

Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below)…
For a good long while, I was avoiding live action movies for my Bad Princess Movie night. I generally prefer animated films to live action, so my bias was definitely showing there. In my routine searches for Princess movies to add to my collection, I kept coming across the listing for the generically titled Princess: A Modern Fairy Tale. I resisted getting it, until one day I came across the movie in a thrift store for 2 dollars and thought “I might as well give it a look”. And oh man, was I ever glad I did.

Princess: A Modern Fairy Tale, has a lot to laugh at, especially if you dive on in without seeing the trailer or reading the back of the DVD which spoils the main ‘twist’ of the movie. At first the movie feels like a laughably cheesy, Hallmark-esque romance between our down-and-out protagonist and the Princess Ithaca. However, things start taking a weird turn when it turns out there’s a lot more fantasy elements in the movie than expected. These fantastical elements really start bringing the laughs, both due to the weird plot as well as the somewhat shoddy execution of the special effects.

As a bonus source of amusement, Canadians might find it fun to spot the various Toronto landscapes that are doubling for L.A. Which, on that note, why not just set the film in Toronto? The movie never explicitly requires it’s L.A. setting. I like to think that some executive decided that a fantasy movie set in L.A. was somehow more plausible than one set in Toronto.

I will note, while there are a fair amount of weird visual elements to gawk at, the majority of my amusement came from the terrible dialogue. This is great, however in a large group setting this might actually work against the movie, as the funny dialogue can easily be talked over if you have a chatty group.

Again, Princess: A Modern Fairy Tale is a good fit for a Bad Princess Movie Night, and I owe it for showing me that live action Princess movies can be just as hilariously bad as animated ones.


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