We open up on the streets of Chicago during the holidays. We go inside a bakery called’ Stacy’s Sweets and Treats,’ and we find Stacy (Vanessa Hudgens) giving a package to a very pleased customer. Her sous-chef Keven (Nick Sagar) is putting the finishing touches on a Christmas themed cake. Olivia (Alexa Adeosun), Kevin’s daughter, runs into the store all excited and hugs her father. As Stacy hands Olivia a decorated sugar cookie, Keven tells Olivia to hand Stacy the surprise. Kevin talks about a Christmas themed baking contest in a country called Belgravia that Stacy has always wanted to enter. Well, when Stacy broke up with her longtime boyfriend Paul, Keven entered Stacy into the contest and Olivia then hands a fancy invitation to the baking contest. Kevin tells her it’s an all expense paid trip and that they leave on Friday. Stacy says that she can’t leave the shop so close to Christmas and Kevin chastises her about being more spontaneous. Stacy, much to Kevin’s disappointment, tells him that it doesn’t follow her schedule. Stacy talks about how she was with Paul for three years, how special Christmas was with him, and she still has hope he will come back around. We cut to Stacy walking on the sidewalk where she runs into Paul (Ashley Emerson) leaving a shop. Paul tells Stacy he has been thinking about her and Stacy perks up, that is until Paul’s new girlfriend comes out of the shop. Apparently, Paul hasn’t told his girlfriend about Stacy. Then and there Stacy decides that she is going to the baking contest.
We cut to Stacy, Kevin, and Olivia arriving at a series in cottages in snowy Belgravia. They go inside, and the cottage is beautiful, decked out with Christmas decorations, roaring fire, and a Christmas tree. Stacy talks about their schedule that they need to go to the TV studio to begin prepping for the contest. Olivia convinces Stacy and Kevin to go into town and the visit the Christmas fair. We cut to a small town decked out in all the bells and whistles of Christmas. They find out from a store owner that the town has gone all out this year because there is going to be a Royal wedding, the Prince is getting married to the Duchess of Montenaro on New Years Day. The store owner mentions that no one really knows what the Duchess looks like because she is a little camera shy but she will be at the baking competition studio today. Olivia sees a children’s ballet troupe performing the ‘Nutcracker,’ and she finds out there is a summer program that is opened to anyone. As Stacy crosses the street, she is almost run over by an official town car. It turns out the Prince (Sam Palladio) is in the car on the way to the palace.
We cut to the TV studio where bakers are all prepping their cooking stations for the contest. As Stacy and Kevin go over their equipment, they are interrupted by a fellow baker named Brianna (Amy Griffiths). It turns out Brianna was at the Le Cordon Bleu at the same time Stacy was, and it is very evident the two women don’t like each other. Brianna informs Stacy that she won the competition last year and plans on winning it again. Brianna then proceeds to spill coffee on Stacy. Stacy goes backstage to get cleaned up and bumps into the Duchess (Vanessa Hudgens). The two women look at each other, surprised that they look identical. This chance meeting of the two doppelgängers will change each other’s lives, in more ways than they could ever imagine.
‘The Princess Switch’ is a delightful Christmas tale, part ‘Parent Trap,’ part ‘Sabrina’ about two women, one an American and the other a Duchess, who decide to switch lives for a couple of days so that the Duchess can experience what it’s like as a commoner. In exchange for acting like the Duchess, Stacy gets the Duchess to sponsor Olivia for the summer dance camp. Hudgens plays both parts, giving the Duchess an English accent (not the greatest imitation but she is so earnest in the role you give her a pass) and Stacy a gosh darn American accent along with a ‘can do’ attitude. Hudgens is on the screen the whole time, playing both parts so adorably you can’t help but root for her two characters to succeed and fall in love. The rest of the cast does a fine job: Alexa Adeosun is cute as the spunky Olivia, Nick Sagar as the sous-chef that falls in love (unknowingly) with the Duchess has a nice chemistry with Hudgens and Sam Palladio shines as the Prince who’s life is turned upside down by the American baker with the hear of gold.
Sure, the film is a little sappy but Hudgens gives it her all and succeeds to give us a highly enjoyable holiday romance film that has a creative plot and nice touch of Christmas spirit. Isn’t that what you want in your Christmas movies?
The Princess Switch Review
My Rating: Bargain Matinee
Mike’s Movie Rating System From Best to Worst:
1). I Would Pay to See it Again
2). Full Price
3). Bargain Matinee
5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again