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Prince & Me rides on the coattails of others

Romantic comedies are easy sells and may come with a built-in target audience, but The Prince & Me might be below the standards of its intended demographic. The movie sticks strictly with the romantic formula, not so much as even daring to tread a road less traveled.

Julia Stiles is a talented young actress who has yet to take on a challenging role. Instead, she wants to be America’s sweetheart. Too bad the competition is stiff with slightly better actresses, such as Reese Witherspoon and Kirsten Dunst, all rivals for the coveted sweetheart spot.

The Prince & Me is sprinkled with a few laughs that come mostly from cultural stereotypes and the film’s supporting cast. The flick is the realization of every prepubescent girl’s fantasy, with some clever instances of independent woman attitude.

In the quiet backroads of the country, a small town girl, Paige Morgan (Stiles), wants to save the world and isn’t looking for love. Across the big pond in Denmark, a young prince Edvard (Luke Mably) stirs up controversy placing negative attention on the royal family. After the latest catastrophe, Edvard is influenced by a Girls Gone Wild-esque commercial to attend a college in Wisconsin.

The filmmakers want audiences to believe the two leads aren’t right for each other, but despite it all, love finds a way. The plot continues to unfold predictably without any surprises. It’s filled with humorless moments where the same romantic comedy jokes are recycled and reused once again.

The Prince & Me is a highly glossed-over fable of a lonely small town girl who finds her real-life prince charming and still achieves her imposing goals. If screenwriters would’ve taken a less obvious route, the film could’ve been a decent date film rather than a forgettable piece of celluloid that blends in with the hordes of other disposable romances.

Stiles does her best with her underwritten character, which is the sign of a good actress. She just needs to work on knowing when to say no or hire a new agent.

Should she ever want to stand out among her rivals, maybe gaining a few pounds and getting a decent script could be enough to help her secure the industry’s recognition. Hey, it worked for Charlize Theron.