A socially awkward but very bright 15-year-old girl being raised by a single mom discovers that she is the princess of a small European country because of the recent death of her long-absent father, who, unknown to her, was the crown prince of Genovia. She must make a choice between continuing the life of a San Francisco teen or stepping up to the throne.
Good watch, would watch again, and can recommend. This feels like a trope, but I'm honestly not sure if "surprise, you're royal" is a trope. Making up a country for this also feels like a special sub-trope. What I'm sure is a trope is the "She's All That" where you have a clumsy, homely girl that you turn into a beautiful, graceful desirable. The fun of cultures clashing between America and "Genovia" is fun, and a family reuniting is touching, but all the high school girl drama, all the flavors, is overdone and boring. I understand it is needed to develop Mia as a character with which we empathize, but there have to be better ways to establish a character. Unfortunately, we would lose quite a lot by speeding it up, so I get it. While this movie doesn't do much special, it's equally good from start to finish, and reliably so.
It goes on for a bit too long, but 'The Princess Diaries' is just about a good film. Anne Hathaway (Mia) is the star no doubt, she's the only character I'll likely remember from this 2001 production. Julie Andrews (Clarisse) is decent too, while Héctor Elizondo (Joe) is extremely likeable in his role. There's also a (incredibly) small appearance from 'The Walking Dead' alum Karl Makinen. I found the plot a little tedious to watch in parts, not helped by a few cringey gags. I also, in live-action/non-fantasy films, always find it difficult to believe in fictional places - in this case "Genovia". It's a small gripe of mine. Anyway, I do of course appreciate and rate the overall message of the film. Overall, when all is said and done, I did narrowly enjoy watching this. The main reason being Hathaway, but also the moral of the story.