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Still shot from the movie: The Princess Diaries.

The Princess Diaries

After the death of her estranged father, Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) discovers she is now heir to the thrown of a little European country. While the shy and awkward teen tries to decide if the crown fits, her Grandmother (the queen) provides "princess lessons". Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: A- 5.0
Violence: B+
Sexual Content: B+
Language: A-
Drugs/Alcohol: B+
Run Time: 115
Theater Release: 02 Aug 2001
Video Release: 03 Aug 2004
MPAA Rating: G
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Unlike many of Disney's tales, The Princess Diaries is about a reluctant daughter of nobility. For Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway), discovering her estranged and recently deceased father was the heir apparent of a small European country is more of a nightmare than a dream come true. Her free-spirited mother (Caroline Goodall) secretly married the prince, but chose a divorce rather than conforming to the strict protocol of royal life. As Mia is now the only living descendant of the monarchal family, her grandmother (Julie Andrews), the Queen of Genovia, feels it is time she was told about her real identity.

The Princess Diaries - Official site Recognizing the enormous responsibility, Mia fears that even if the slipper fits she can't possibly fill such big shoes. What terrifies the shy and klutzy fifteen-year-old most is not the obligation to run the country, but the prospect of being a public figure. With the promise of time to get used to the idea and the assurance of "princess lessons" from Grandma, Mia agrees to make the decision to accept or reject her birthright at an upcoming ball.

The Princess Diaries - Official site Fortunately the gangly frizzy-haired Mia polishes up really well, but even Grandma's patience is taxed with trying to make a princess out of a personality whose self-esteem has been running on empty, thanks to peers who have been a constant pea under Mia's mattress. Even more draining is Mia's realization that her soaring popularity amongst those same classmates is only skin deep.

The Princess Diaries - Official site The Princess Diaries is a sentimental story with average acting, slapstick antics, and a predictable ending, but manages to do what many other teen films have failed to accomplish by presenting a high school setting in a family appropriate way. With the inclusion of mild name-calling and a few kissing scenes, parents' only real concern will be the depiction of an underage and therefore unlicensed teen driving a car on two occasions and causing an accident.

Although few of us will ever have to choose between being a princess or a pauper, the film does offer insight into facing our fears and the value of true friendship.

The Princess Diaries is rated G:

Cast: Julie Andrews, Anne Hathaway
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment

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About the Reviewer: Donna Gustafson

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