0

This is really a re-run of Pretty Woman, this time aimed at the pre-teen female market where, it seems, every schoolgirl dreams of really being a princess. Mia Thermopolis, Anne Hathaway - is a 15 year old San Franciscan who lives in a converted fire station with her artist mother Helen, Caroline Goodall. She attends a private school where, with her excessive hair and shyness she`s regarded as a bit of a geek by the in crowd, as is her best friend Lilly - Heather Matarazzo. One day her paternal grandmother, Julie Andrews - whom Mia`s never met, arrives in town with the news that she is really the Crown Princess of the tiny European kingdom of Genovia. Her father has been killed in an accident and now it`s her responsibility to take his place as heir to the throne...The lack of subtlety in this film is really astonishing, Garry Marshall has directed with all the finesse a sledge-hammer can achieve. The script by Gina Wendkos of Coyote Ugly fame, based on the novel by eg Cabot is archly awful, iving none of the performers ny chance t all. Julie Andrews is saccharine sweet as Queen Clarisse, Heather Matarazzo of Welcome to the Dollshouse fame is strident, perhaps Anne Hathaway is a star in the making but it`s not easy to see her potential with the material here. However, The Princess Diaries is doing mozza business in America, so maybe pre-teen females just want the fantasy.Comments from David StrattonThis is the kind of story which was stale in the 1930s - a 15-year-old San Francisco schoolgirl discovers she`s the Princess of a small European principality where, it seems, they speak perfect English. Basically it`s a Pygmalian story, with Julie Andrews as Prof Higgins and Anne Hathaway as Eliza - but it`s so flat and poorly written, so lacking in interest or tension, that it`s instantly forgettable.