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We Watched Netflix's Infamous 'A Christmas Prince'

By Kristy Puchko | Reviews | December 24, 2017 |

By Kristy Puchko | Reviews | December 24, 2017 |

It’s the obviously sappy, dumb holiday movie so sappy and dumb even Netflix is making fun of it. So of course we watched it.

Let’s live-blog.

Oh, it’s Christmas in New York! Look, you might think of us New Yorkers as a jaded, godless lot. But we know how to do holiday razzle dazzle. The lights of Rockefeller Center and even random neighborhood streets are enough to make even the biggest cynic sparkle with hope and cheer. There’s a reason so many holiday movies are set in New York City.

Oh! This stars iZombie’s Liv Moore Rose McIver!

She’s an earnest writer, who is sick of having men eyeroll at her. Same, girl. Same.

Her editor wants Rose to cover royal family business (of Aldovia), and called the “flake, international playboy, and scandalous socialite” Prince Richard (Ben Lamb) “his royal hotness.”

The websites tell me this is set in the late ’90s, the era of GeoCities.

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Some douche with an English accent and a clearly fake beard just stole her cab at the Aldovia airport. Guys. I think it was the prince in disguise.

There’s a ticking clock. If the prince doesn’t get coronated in time…the throne is…uh? What? Who knows. It’s a “royal jerkaround.” (That’s how you say “circle jerk” when you’re keeping it PG.)

Rose is sneaking around the castle looking for a scoop, and it’s shades of a very special holiday iZombie. Naturally, it’s assumed this confused American is a tutor for Princess Emily. So Rose is taken into the heart of the castle and meets a scowling lady butler. (I don’t know what you call a lady butler. A butless sounds wrong.)

They can’t keep tutors, apparently. Let’s assume his Royal Hotness has a thing for tutors.

I was right! The prince stole her cab. But it was not a fake beard. He was just really into cosplaying as Robin Williams in Jumanji.

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“Who are you and what are you doing in my palace?” Eternal mood.

Princess Emily is a royal brat but has crutches. So we have to like her brother for being nice to her and spinning her about.

In case you were wondering, “It’s called Spina bifida, and there is no cure.”

Richard is shaved and we’re clearly supposed to think he’s, like, Best Chris level hot. He’s fine. Not like fine. But, like, good enough looking to co-star on an ABC sitcom, or apparently a Netflix holiday movie.

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I’m thinking this is gunning for Never Been Kissed meets Roman Holiday. I’m not mad at it.

Rose has been invited to cocktail hour, and she wore an outfit circa Delia’s in 1998. So I am confident in my pinpointing of time—wait is that an iPhone!?

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Cookies > “Meat Jelly”

“I don’t know how to curtsy and I break everything.” Same.

We’re meeting cousin Simon, AKA Lord Ducksberry. If Royal Hotness does not take the crown Simon gets the throne, not Princess Emily, because the patriarchy thrives even in sappy holiday movies. Uncovering this very thing is the sole reason Rose was sent to Aldovia, but she’s convinced she needs to “dig up some dirt” to get the job done. Or at the very least some surreptitious footage of the prince playing Christmas carols on a piano.

Okay. So this is sappy and stupid and written like the first draft of a TV movie that doesn’t know if it should be on Lifetime or Nickelodeon. But it’s sweet and easy. My only issue is that Royal Hotness is boring. He doesn’t have the spark of regal rogue, or the polish of sexy prince. He’s blandsome. If he were a Disney prince, he’d be Cogsworth.

Princess Emily has found Rose out, so she’s blackmailing her to “tell the truth about my brother.” I wish this were a thriller where the princess is looking to topple the monarchy’s patriarchal bullshit and usurp her brother by unveiling his decadent kinks to the world. But le sigh. He’s just a nice boring guy, and THAT’s the story Emily wants told.

Now, they’re making cookies. The special ingredient is blackmail.

There’s a red-lipped lady angling for the crown. And clearly I’m meant to think Sofia is the worst. But eh. I admire someone in this movie has some real ambition.

I just realized who Princess Emily looks like: the lead in The Bad Seed. Or the little girl who played Veruca Salt in Tim Burton’s eyesore Willy Wonka And the Chocolate Factory.

This should be a horror movie.

The prince blew off a royal obligation to play with children in the snow. I do not find this charming. It’s not cute. It’s irresponsible! Also, that the little sister is like “here he is so you can get secret footage” feels MAJORLY planned. But it won’t be, because this movie refuses to make any interesting choices.

The prince’s dad died, and he bailed on his grieving mother and sister. But hey, DEEP DOWN he’s a good guy…who has no interest in responsibility, but should still totally be the leader of a nation.

The prince has slipped on snow and fallen on the reporter. That’s basically how my parents met.

“You got a legit Aldovian Birther scandal!” Actual plot twist: The Royal Hotness is adopted. So he shouldn’t even be in line for the crown. If she reveals this, she’ll launch her career as a real journalist! But it will give the prince the sadz…also hand the nation over to the power-hungry twerp. I mean, really between runaway royal and snooty cousin, what am I supposed to root for here?

Rose has a diner-owning dad, who only pops into the plot to dole out fortune cookie advice about following your dreams/heart, always in a New Yoika accent.

They’ve kissed. It was as hot as yellow snow.

Rose sucks at hiding secrets, so the ambitious Sofia and the grimacing cousin broke into her room with a hairpin and IMMEDIATELY found her passport and the prince’s birth certificate. Man, if being incompetent was proof of compatibility, these two would be PERFECT for each other.

Ooooo, now Princess Emily is trying emotional blackmail. She’s learning so fast!

The princess gave her jewelry. It’s. Um. Hm.
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The real gift is apparently a “complete makeover.”

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Look. Rose is gorgeous as ever. But this? That blah dress and the old pulling her hair back trick? It’s suitably underwhelming. She’s perfectly paired to her TV movie prince. And she’s still wearing red Converse sneakers to show us she’s still adorkable as ever! (ugh)

Neat. So as in weddings, coronations have a point where you ask if anyone would like to derail the ceremony. Cue Sofia with the adoption papers. AND she out Rose’s identity in one fell swoop. I mean, I know she’s evil, but it was an impressively efficient two-for-one blow.

Question: Why would the royal family keep proof that their son was adopted? Why would it not be destroyed?

I was wrong. We’re not Roman Holiday, it’s more She’s All That, except he’s all like, “Am I a bet scoop? AM I A FUCKING bet SCOOP!”

I’m wondering if those 53 viewers Netflix threw shade at were just really dedicated to getting through this movie. I’m falling asleep.

Reversal: They interrupted Cousin’s coronation for a special reveal: a rule change hidden in the late king’s big ugly homemade ornament. Because if you’re going to change the right of succession, you should do it in Christmas ornaments.

This movie is still happening.

He’s the Christmas prince because he’s crowned on Christmas…wouldn’t that make him a Christmas King?

Back to New York. Rose’s boss is mad because she had a drool-inducing amount of access to the very private royal family and a major scoop, then lost it, then wrote a puff piece about how gosh-gee-willickers the prince, who is pretty irresponsible when he’s not being boring, is. We’re meant to think her boss is a real bitch.

What do you do when you’ve been demoted for being a shitty journalist? You quit and start a fan blog about the new king of Aldovia. May I also suggest picking up all the shifts at your dad’s diner?

Oh. She did do that. She’s working there on New Year’s Eve.

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The end is nigh! The Christmas Prince King has arrived to be romantic in a barely grand gesture, mildly stalking way. See, he read her blog post, which could not be published in a respectable magazine because “too much schmaltz.” A Christmas Prince, are you trolling me?


This proposal was so boring it ought to be marketed as a sleep aid. That ring’s nice tho.

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Now Netflix is suggesting I keep the fun coming with Trolls Holiday Special. Haven’t I been through enough?

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Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter.