Review: The Princess Switch

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The Princess Switch is the latest movie entry in the Netflix Originals. The film is directed by Michael Rohl, who is best known for his work on Beauty and the Beast (2012) and Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments (2016).

The Princess Switch follows two identical characters whose paths cross by chance. When they realize their uncanny resemblance to one another, they decide to switch places.

In the film, actress Vanessa Hudgens plays two characters: Stacy DeNovo and Lady Margaret Delacourt. Despite their physical resemblance, the characters are shown with opposing personalities. Stacy is a baker from Chicago and is a stickler for following the rules, whereas Margaret is a duchess with a free spirit and longs to leave behind her life of royalty to experience life as a normal girl.

The plot begins when Stacy travels with her best friend Kevin to a fictional nation named Belgravia for a famous baking competition. Upon her arrival, Stacy happens to run into Lady Margaret, who is trapped in a diplomatic engagement and is eager to discover what life as a commoner is like before she marries Prince Edward.

When the two decide to switch places, things don’t exactly go as planned. Stacy and Lady Margaret face challenges on how to navigate the false identities they have temporarily occupied while avoiding recognition.

The film touches upon the compassionate aspects of both characters as well as open their hearts to new experiences.

When Stacy arrives to the royal palace, she opens the eyes of those in royalty to the needs of the community. She encourages Prince Edward to understand how their charities function and to help the country’s orphans. Lady Margaret is driven by loyalty and duty of royalty as she selflessly pushes aside her own feelings so that she can keep a vow to her deceased parents. Once she experiences life as a normal girl, she begins to understand more about herself and her desires.

Even though Hudgens did not quite manage to make Stacy and Lady Margaret feel like noticeably different people, she was able to play both roles with apparent enthusiasm and commitment that, in a way, made both characters distinctive.

In spite of the recurring concept of two identical people who decide to switch places, its predictability is the exact reason why I would recommend this film because it made the movie very lighthearted. The characters learned important lessons about life, love, honor and self-sacrifice in this Netflix Original.

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