The Princess Diaries (film)
|The Princess Diaries|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Garry Marshall|
|Produced by||Whitney Houston
Debra Martin Chase
|Screenplay by||Gina Wendkos|
|Based on||The Princess Diaries
by Meg Cabot
|Music by||John Debney|
|Cinematography||Karl Walter Lindenlaub|
|Editing by||Bruce Green|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Pictures|
|Running time||115 minutes|
Princess Diaries is a 2001 American comedy film produced by singer and actress Whitney Houston and directed by Garry Marshall. It is based on Meg Cabot's 2000 novel of the same name. The film stars Anne Hathaway (her film debut) as Mia Thermopolis, a teenager who discovers that she is the heir to the throne of the fictional Kingdom of Genovia, ruled by her grandmother Queen Dowager Clarisse Renaldi, as portrayed by Julie Andrews. It also stars Heather Matarazzo as Mia's best friend Lilly Moscovitz, Héctor Elizondo as Joseph, the Queen's Head of Security, and Robert Schwartzman as Lilly's brother Michael, who has a crush on Mia.
Released to North American theatres on August 3, 2001, the film peaked at #3 in the box office. The Princess Diaries was a commercial success, grossing $165,335,153 worldwide. A sequel, Royal Engagement, was released in August 2004.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (November 2011)|
Mia Thermopolis is a 15-year-old private school sophomore who lives with her mother Helen Thermopolis and her cat, Fat Louie, in a renovated San Francisco firehouse. Mia is an average student and extremely unpopular. She is seemingly invisible to her crush, Josh Bryant and his cheerleader girlfriend Lana Thomas. Mia, however, has one best friend: Lilly Moscovitz as well as Lilly's brother Michael.
A few weeks before Mia's 16th birthday, Mia learns her paternal grandmother is visiting from Genovia, a small European kingdom. Mia meets her grandmother, Queen Clarisse Renaldi, at the Genovian consulate for the first time in her life. Queen Clarisse explains that the reason she wanted to see her was because of a "life-changing" problem. Mia learns that her father was Crown Prince of Genovia and, due to his recent death, she is now next and sole heir to the Genovian throne. She is shocked to learn that she is in fact a princess and runs away, rejecting the notion.
Queen Clarisse visits Mia and Helen and explains that if Mia refuses the throne, Genovia will be without a ruler. She also explains that Mia needs to be presented as their princess at the upcoming Genovian State Dinner. Helen convinces Mia to attend "princess lessons" with the Queen, who tells Mia need not have to make her full decision until the annual Genovian Independence Day ball. The Queen gives Mia a limousine to use as well as her own bodyguard, Joe, the Queen's head of security.
Mia begins seeing her grandmother everyday after school for her lessons, which include table manners, dancing, and personal presentation. Mia's frequent absence begins to put Lilly on-edge, and after Mia receives a makeover from Italian hairdresser Paolo, Lilly confronts her and accuses her of trying to be like the popular girls. Mia breaks down and tells Lilly everything, and Mia makes Lilly promise not to tell anyone (including Michael) that she is a princess to avoid a frenzy with the press.
The San Francisco Chronicle however learns that Mia is the Genovian Crown Princess after Paolo breaks his confidentiality agreement. Although thoroughly annoyed, Queen Clarisse presses onward and prepares for the State Dinner. Mia attends, but publicly humiliates herself and her grandmother with her clumsiness.
While driving with her grandmother back to the Genovian consulate, Mia's car fails on a hill and rams into a cable car loaded with people. No one is hurt, but two nuns call the police. To save Mia a trip to the police station for driving without a license, Queen Clarisse appoints the police man and trolley master to the "Genovian Order of the Rose" (a fictitious chivalric order). The men are so flattered that they drop any charges and give Queen Clarisse and Mia a ride back to the consulate in a police car.
Josh Bryant, the popular boy Mia has a crush on, asks her to go with him to the school's annual beach party. She agrees, but Michael and Lilly are both hurt that she blew them off. The beach party spirals out of control when the media learns of Mia's presence. Josh uses her to get his fifteen minutes of fame by publicly kissing Mia, after which Lana and two popular girls trick Mia into undressing in a tent. They remove the tent as she is semi-nude and call the paparazzi. Mia's gym coach shoos off the paparazzi and takes Mia home. Later that night, Mia cries in her mother's arms.
The unflattering photos wind up on tabloid covers the following day and Queen Clarisse chides her granddaughter. Joe later reminds Queen Clarisse that although Mia is a princess, she is still a teenager and her granddaughter. To rescue her friendships with Lilly and Michael, Mia apologizes and invites them to the Genovian Independence Day Ball. Mia also publicly humiliates Lana by smearing ice cream on her cheerleader dress at school in front of students and calling her a jerk.
Terrified knowing that she must personally and publicly announce her decision, Mia plans to run away. She is stopped when she receives a letter from her father written before his death. Touched by his words, she changes her mind and makes her way to the ball. Her car breaks down but she is taken by Joe, who arrives with a limousine (having suspected her plans to run away).
When they arrive, Mia voices her acceptance of the Genovian throne. She shares her first dance with Michael, who then takes her outside to the consulate's garden where they kiss. Clarisse and Joe are seen holding hands, signifying the start of a relationship. The last scene shows Mia on the plane with Joe and her cat. Mia is writing in her diary, explaining that she is moving with her mother to Genovia, and that Lily and Michael will visit her during summer holiday. When Mia looks out of the plane's window, Joe welcomes her to Genovia as she sees the beautiful royal palace and landscape below.
- Anne Hathaway as Mia Thermopolis
- Julie Andrews as Queen Clarisse Renaldi
- Heather Matarazzo as Lilly Moscovitz
- Héctor Elizondo as Joseph "Joe"
- Mandy Moore as Lana Thomas
- Caroline Goodall as Helen Thermopolis
- Robert Schwartzman as Michael Moscovitz
- Erik von Detten as Josh Bryant
- Sean O'Bryan as Patrick O'Connell
- Sandra Oh as Vice Principal Gupta
- Kathleen Marshall as Charlotte Kutaway
- Mindy Burbano as Gym teacher Ms. Harbula
- René Auberjonois (uncredited) as Voice of Philippe Renaldi
- Larry Miller (uncredited) as Paolo
The film was produced by Whitney Houston and Debra Martin Chase and directed by Garry Marshall. Anne Hathaway was hired for the role of Mia because Garry Marshall's granddaughters saw her audition tape and said she had the best "princess hair." According to Hathaway, the first choice for the role of Mia Thermopolis was Liv Tyler, but the studio preferred to cast unfamiliar faces.
Héctor Elizondo, who appears in all the films which Marshall directs, plays Joe, the head of Genovian security. Garry Marshall's daughter, Kathleen, plays Clarisse's secretary Charlotte Kutaway. Charlotte's surname is mentioned only in the credits, and Garry Marshall says it is a reference to how she is often used in cutaway shots. In one scene, Robert Schwartzman's real-life group Rooney makes a cameo playing a garage band named Flypaper, whose lead singer is Michael, played by Schwartzman. The Cable car tourist was portrayed by Kathy Garver.
The film opened in 2,537 theaters in North America and grossed $22,862,269 in its opening weekend. It grossed $165,335,153 worldwide—$108,248,956 in North America and $57,086,197 in other territories.
Critical response 
The film received decidedly mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 47% of 113 film critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 5.2 out of 10. Metacritic, which assigns a weighted average score out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film a score of 52 based on 27 reviews.
|2002||ALMA Award||Outstanding Song in a Motion Picture Soundtrack||"Miracles Happen" by Myra||Nominated|
|ASCAP||Top Box Office Film||John Debney||Won|
|Artios Award||Best Casting for Feature Film, Comedy||Marcia Ross, Donna Morong, Gail Goldberg||Nominated|
|BFCA Award||Best Family Film - Live Action||Nominated|
|Golden Trailer Award||Best Animation/Family||Nominated|
|Hollywood Makeup Artist Hair Stylist Guild Award||Best Contemporary Makeup - Feature||Hallie D'Amore, Leonard Engelman||Nominated|
|MTV Movie Award||Breakthrough Female Performance||Anne Hathaway||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Award||Choice Movie: Actress, Comedy||Anne Hathaway||Nominated|
|Choice Movie: Comedy||Nominated|
|Young Artist Award||Best Family Feature Film - Comedy||Nominated|
- The Princess Diaries DVD commentary. A behind-the-scenes look at the film's production. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
- "Hector Elizondo: Humor, Eloquence & Bongos". Screen Actors Guild Foundation. July 30, 2002. Retrieved October 9, 2006.
- "The Princess Diaries". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
- "The Princess Diaries". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
- "The Princess Diaries reviews at Metacritic.com". Metacritic. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Princess Diaries|
- Official website
- The Princess Diaries at the Internet Movie Database
- The Princess Diaries at AllRovi
- The Princess Diaries at Box Office Mojo
- The Princess Diaries at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Princess Diaries at Metacritic