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
Erik von Detten
|Music by||John Debney|
|Cinematography||Karl Walter Lindenlaub|
|Edited by||Bruce Green|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|Box office||$165.3 million|
The Princess Diaries is a 2001 American comedy film produced by singer/actress Whitney Houston and directed by Garry Marshall. It is based on Meg Cabot's 2000 novel of the same name. The film stars acting newcomer Anne Hathaway, in 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 actress and singer Julie Andrews. It also stars Heather Matarazzo as Mia's best friend Lilly Moscovitz, Héctor Elizondo as Joseph, the Queen's Head of Security, Robert Schwartzman as Lilly's brother Michael, who has a crush on Mia, and Tito Ross as a backpack-wearing high school student.
Released in North America on August 3, 2001, the film peaked at #3 at the box office. The Princess Diaries was a commercial success, grossing $165.3 million worldwide. The film was followed by a sequel, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, in August 2004.
15-year-old Mia Thermopolis lives with her artist mother Helen and her cat Fat Louie in a remodeled San Francisco firehouse. Mia is a somewhat awkward, unpopular girl who is terrified of public speaking, even in class, and is seemingly invisible to her crush, Josh Bryant, and mocked by his cheerleader girlfriend, Lana Thomas. Mia’s only real friends are the equally unpopular Lilly Moscovitz and Lilly's brother Michael, who secretly has a crush on Mia.
Just before her 16th birthday, Mia learns her paternal grandmother, Clarisse, is visiting from Genovia, a small European kingdom. When Mia goes to meet her at a large house (later revealed to be the Genovian consulate), Clarisse reveals she is actually Queen Clarisse Renaldi, and that her son, Mia’s late father, was Crown Prince of Genovia. Mia is stunned to learn she is a princess and heir to the Genovian throne. In shock, Mia runs home and angrily confronts her mother, who explains she had planned to tell Mia on her 18th birthday, but that her father’s death has forced the issue. Queen Clarisse visits and explains that if Mia refuses the throne, Genovia will be without a ruler (a subplot involves a scheming baron and his unsightly baroness quietly rooting for Mia's downfall). Helen persuades a hesitant Mia to attend "princess lessons" with the Queen, telling her she does not have to make her decision until the upcoming Genovian Independence Day ball.
Mia is given a glamorous makeover, the use of a limousine and a bodyguard (the Queen’s head of security, Joe). This and Mia's frequent absences for the lessons make Lilly suspicious, and she accuses Mia of trying to be like the popular girls. Mia breaks down and tells Lilly everything, swearing her to secrecy. However, the San Francisco Chronicle learns that Mia is the Genovian Crown Princess after hairdresser Paolo breaks his confidentiality agreement (so his work would be known), causing a press frenzy, and a sudden surge in popularity at school for Mia.
At a state dinner, Mia embarrasses herself with her clumsiness, delighting her rivals for the crown. However, all is not lost as the situation amuses a stuffy diplomat, and the Queen tells Mia the next day she found it fun. Deciding it is time the two bonded as grandmother and granddaughter, the Queen allows Mia to take her out in Mia's late 60s Ford Mustang convertible for the day to an amusement arcade. The day almost ends badly when Mia rams her car into a cable car, but Queen Clarisse saves the day by "appointing" the attending police officer and the tram driver to the Genovian "Order of the Rose" (something she clearly made up on the spot), flattering them into dropping any charges. Mia sees this and is impressed with her grandmother.
Mia is delighted when Josh Bryant invites her to a beach party, but her acceptance hurts Lilly and Michael, with whom she had plans. Things go wrong when the press arrive, tipped off by Lana. Josh uses Mia to get his 15 minutes of fame by publicly kissing her, while Lana tricks her into changing in a tent, pulling it away as the paparazzi arrive, giving them a scandalous shot of her in a towel. She breaks down into tears in her mother's arms when she gets home. The photos appear on tabloid covers the following day, leaving Queen Clarisse furious at Mia. A humiliated Mia tells her that she is renouncing the throne feeling she is nowhere near ready to be a true princess. Joe later reminds Queen Clarisse that although Mia is a princess, she is still a teenager and her granddaughter.
Back at school, Mia attempts to rescue her friendships with Lilly and Michael by inviting them to the Genovian Independence Day Ball, gets back at Josh for using her by hitting a baseball into his stomach during gym class, and finally stands up to Lana when she is cruel to Lilly’s friend Jeremiah, publicly humiliating her by smearing ice cream on her cheerleader outfit and tells her she would rather be a geek than a jerk like her; the teachers don't interfere, knowing Lana deserved it. Lilly is excited at the prospect of attending a royal ball, but a brokenhearted Michael turns her down. Mia, terrified at the thought of publicly announcing her decision, eventually plans to run away. However, when she finds a letter from her late father, his touching words make her change her mind, and she makes her way to the ball. Mia’s car breaks down in the rain, but she is rescued by Joe, who had suspected she was going to run.
When they arrive, a drenched and untidy Mia voices her acceptance of her role as Princess of Genovia. Mia gets dressed up and accompanies Clarisse to the ballroom, where she is formally introduced for invites Mia to dance. They adjourn to the courtyard, where Mia shares her first kiss with Michael, while Clarisse and Joe are seen holding hands. In the final scene Mia is shown on a private plane with Fat Louie, writing in her diary, explaining she is moving with her mother to Genovia, just as the beautiful royal palace and landscape come into view 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, Mia's Mother
- Robert Schwartzman as Michael Moscovitz
- Erik von Detten as Josh Bryant
- Patrick Flueger as Jeremiah Hart
- Sean O'Bryan as Patrick O'Connell, Mia's Debate teacher
- 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 hairdresser
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.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 47% of 113 film critics gave the film a positive review, with a rating average of 5.2 out of 10. The site's consensus reads, "A charming, if familiar, makeover movie for young teenager girls." 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.
A sequel, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, was released on August 11, 2004.
|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". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
- 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". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
- "The Princess Diaries reviews at Metacritic.com". Metacritic. Retrieved February 14, 2013.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: The Princess Diaries|
- Official website
- The Princess Diaries at the Internet Movie Database
- The Princess Diaries at the TCM Movie Database
- The Princess Diaries at AllMovie
- The Princess Diaries at Box Office Mojo
- The Princess Diaries at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Princess Diaries at Metacritic