A New Spin on Things: A Review of ‘The Princess Switch: Switched Again’

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Maribel Alley

‘Princess Switch: Switched Again’ can be played in a festive environment, given holiday festivities.

It is difficult to get into the holiday spirit after such a challenging year, but many families and friends have turned to a time-honoured (and quarantine-friendly) tradition, watching Christmas movies. Netflix has released ten of their own since October 28th, 2020, including the much-anticipated sequel to 2018’s The Princess Switch, aptly named The Princess Switch: Switched Again. Vanessa Hudgens reprises her roles of Princess Stacy and Duchess Margaret, and steps into the glass slippers of another doppelgänger, the duchess’ evil cousin, Fiona.

The Princess Switch is a modern retelling of Mark Twain’s 1881 novel The Prince and the Pauper. The events of the first film follow Stacy DeNovo, a young baker from Chicago who is invited to a famous baking competition in the fictional kingdom of Belgravia. Accompanied by her best friend, Kevin, and his young daughter, Olivia,  meets Margaret Duchess of Montenaro who is engaged to Crown Prince Edward of Belgravia. Margaret proposes the idea of switching lives for two days with Stacy so that she can escape the spotlight for a while. During the switch, Stacy falls in love with Prince Edward, and Margaret falls for Kevin, although the men have no idea whatsoever that the Duchess and Ms. DeNovo have switched places. Although Kevin and Edward’s confusion turns to indignation, they forgive Stacey and Margaret, and Stacy and Edward are married. 

The sequel, The Princess Switch: Switched Again, is set two years in the future. Now-Princess Stacy struggles to balance her own royal responsibilities with her marriage to Prince Edward, while  soon-to-be Queen Margaret, her double, agonizes over her split with Stacy’s best friend, Kevin and her upcoming coronation. Stacy decides to reunite Margaret and Kevin, proposing another switch that allows Stacy to stop Margaret’s seemingly-adoring assistant, Antonio, from coming between Margaret and Kevin, who use the opportunity to spend time together. The two plan to switch back before Margaret’s coronation as Queen of Montenaro, but find themselves in yet another dilemma upon the unexpected arrival of Lady Fiona Pembroke, Margaret’s fortune-squandering cousin,  who returns to steal from her family but makes an attempt at claiming the throne of Montenaro as well. 

The characters in Princess Switch: Switched Again were well-developed. The  characters who made a comeback had the exact personalities from the first movie, though it did seem to make the characters a bit bland. It was easy to see the characters for who they really were making the plot twist very predictable. That also made it easier to identify who was who for the doppelgangers, especially since this movie is meant to be family-friendly. “It was interesting. So, I think it’s important to say that I haven’t seen the first movie. I found the cousin to be very annoying. I’m pretty sure that was the point of her character, but she just made the movie worse. Also I dislike Tony. Overall, Princess Switch: Switched Again was good and I would probably recommend it,” said Mollie Ehrenbergm ’23. Antonio was an unlikeable character to many due to foiling Kevin and Margaret’s attempt to connect before the swap, along with then betraying Margaret and joining Fiona. Meanwhile, Fiona was the main antagonist; she was openly rude to others and caused unnecessary damage. 

The plot is easily predictable. However, there are elements that make the movie unique. The couples were bound to make up and receive their happy ever after. It was also nice to see a change in the number of doppelgangers. Usually there are only two; however, in Princess Switch: Switched Again, it is three. And one of them is evil, putting a twist on the original cliché . “I think Princess Switch: Switched Again was a good movie. Although the director took a popular idea of lookalikes switching places, this time, the film had a better purpose than merely looking at life from a different perspective. This time there’s a reasonable goal that requires this switch in order to fix the situation, and I liked how the characters were creative enough to think of that,” said Jeshua Correa ’23.

Overall the movie was very interesting to watch play out because of this new spin. It was also interesting to see how things would occur from the character’s perspective. There were many ways that Margaret and Fiona could have handled the situation. Instead of going to get Stacy together, it might have been easier for them to split up in order to be able to cover more ground. That way, Margaret could expose Fiona much faster. Margaret also forgave Fiona very quickly. While her minions were thrown in jail, Fiona only had to handle being watched by two officers and community service. This little bit gives a small insight to how royalty is easily forgiven for their status and connections. 

Though the movie takes place during Christmas, it does not focus a whole lot on the holiday and prioritizes the relationships between Stacy and Edward, and Margaret and Kevin. Despite its predictable plot, Princess Switch: Switched Again is a wholesome movie to enjoy with family for the holidays. 

To watch Princess Switch: Switched Again on Netflix (subscription required), click HERE

It is difficult to get into the holiday spirit after such a challenging year, but many families and friends have turned to a time-honoured (and quarantine-friendly) tradition, watching Christmas movies.

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