Movie Review: 'A Christmas Prince' (2017)

“A Christmas Prince” is a royally entertaining way to spend an hour and a half. Rose McIver stars as Amber, a struggling editor and aspiring writer, who gets the chance of a lifetime when her boss sends her on a mission to cover the potential abdication of a fictional country's prince.

Desperate for a story that could catapult her career, she seizes the opportunity. When she arrives her shot at glory stalls. That is until she is mistaken as the new tutor to the prince's younger sister, Princess Emily (Honor Kneafsey).

Equipped with the umbrella of a false identity, Amber gets an inside look at the royal family and the reticent incoming king. Armed with some truths about a family and a prince she comes to genuinely care about, Amber has to decide what do with them and how to handle the fallout of living a lie to obtain them.

As many Hallmark Movie fans have probably noticed “A Christmas Prince” shares a lot in common with “Crown for Christmas,” which stars Danica McKellar. While similar storylines are a hazard for many genre movies, this easy comparison does not work in “A Christmas Prince's” favor. Unlike McKellar's honest and lovable heroine in “Crown for Christmas,” Amber is a liar, who never comes across particularly conflicted over her deception.

The prince, his sister, and his mother are all wonderfully enchanting people, which makes Amber's actions all the more disheartening. She is not the heroine this movie needs and its quality suffers because of it. You shouldn't be rooting against the villain as much as the heroine, especially when the villains are as great as they are in this movie.

To the film's major credit, the cinematography is impeccable with clear shots of breathtaking surroundings, both interior, and exterior. The production quality is nothing shy of luxurious. 

The cast is great, especially Honor Kneafsey as the precocious Emily. Ben Lamb ("The White Queen") gives a genuine performance as the kind-hearted and headstrong prince, while McIver gives a charming one as Amber. Let's face it, in lesser hands, Amber would have been impossible to accept as the film’s protagonist. It is thanks to McIver that Amber garners any likability.

Since Amber never earns redemption for her trickery, the inevitable ending that concludes most romantic comedies does not feel as well-earned. “A Christmas Prince” is elegantly filmed, it just lacks a bit of polish when it comes to its plot. As a modern fairytale with lots of holiday atmosphere, it earns a spot on the Christmas movie Netflix queue.

Rating: 6.2/10

[Featured Image by Netflix]