The Princess Switch is like Disney’s The Parent Trap (1998) with a modified plot, Christmas setting, and double the dose of Vanessa Hudgens. The film follows Stacy De Novo (Hudgens) who runs into Lady Margaret (also Hudgens), they realise they both look identical and decide to swap lives for two days, one living life as a royal and the other as a persevering baker.
Whether you check out the trailer, poster, or synopsis for this film you know exactly what you’re going to get, a romance film with a simple predictable plot and cheesy humour sprinkled throughout. But this doesn’t result in a bad movie because it is very self aware, it knows what it is, embraces it, and doesn’t try to paint itself as something incredible. One of the biggest things The Princess Switch has going for it is the heart and Christmas spirit so cleverly weaved into the main plot. Without the Christmas angle you’d lose a lot of the heart and life in the story making it a pretty dull watch. But because of the setting it actually enhances the film and gives the events a little more meaning and some lighthearted messages.
If you’re looking for a story with complexity or something that will shock you with its developments then this isn’t it. It progresses more or less how you’d expect it to and moves along at a very quick pace, which with a runtime of 1 hour 40 minutes goes by in no time. The story is actually mildly engaging and never gets to the point of being boring. The cheesy humour sprinkled throughout doesn’t hit the mark in terms of producing any audible laughs but it’s cute and it knows it’s being silly so you can just enjoy it whether you’re laughing with it or at it.
As far as the performances go, there weren’t really any scenes demanding some masterclass acting but I enjoyed everyone’s performances. Vanessa Hudgens plays the dual roles quite convincingly despite having to put on a questionable British accent. She’s very charismatic, uplifting, and brings life to all of her scenes to where it might not be the greatest movie but Vanessa makes it a fun time regardless. She’s the face of the movie and the only one who really stands out among the cast. Sam Palladio who plays Prince Edward and Nick Sagar who plays Kevin I’d say are both good in the movie. They don’t really have a tonne to do but they do have a role in their respective romantic story arcs and they’re serviceable there. Alexa Adeosun plays Stacy’s daughter and for a young actress with no previous acting credits she does just as well as everyone else in here.
In the end, The Princess Switch is a Netflix Christmas movie that’s a fun easy watch you can just kick back with one night. The humour is silly and the story is pretty basic however the inclusion of Vanessa Hudgens and the presence of a positive Christmas spirit make it a decent watch. It’s got themes of family and love woven into the story which makes it a sweet watch this holiday season.