The Princess Switch

Vanessa Hudgens in The Princess Switch (Courtesy of Netflix)

I love a good action flick; explosions, bad ass characters, and cheesy one-liners make for great movies. There are, however, a few classes of films that I enjoy even more. The most obvious of those is the Romantic Comedy, a classic movie style designed to make us laugh, cry, and smile in a 90-minute window. The other is the body swap movie – from 17 Again and Freaky Friday to the less obvious 13 Going on 30 and Big. This Christmas, Netflix graced us with a body swapping romcom called The Princess Switch. Netflix has been killing it with their Christmas movies, I’m not sure that I’ve seen a bad one yet, and The Princess Switch is no exception.

The movie stars Vanessa Hudgens and Vanessa Hudgens in the roles of Stacy and Lady Margaret. Stacy is a baker from Chicago with her own bakery who has withdrawn from the social scene after a breakup. Lady Margaret is destined to marry the prince of Belgravia, Edward (Sam Palladio), although she’s not too keen on the idea. Stacy’s best friend (and colleague), Kevin (Nick Sagar), and his daughter sign her up for a famous baking competition in Belgravia. While there, Lady Margaret discovers that her and Stacy could be twins and arranges for them to swap places, allowing her to experience life as a commoner.

The movie gives you a double dose of romance as Kevin spends time with Lady Margaret and Edward spends time with Stacy, exactly what you want from a sappy Christmas movie. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the reason why we enjoy romcoms so much is that they are predictable. You have strangers (even though they occasionally know each other) who find “unexpected” love – this is typically where you get to laugh. Then there’s a fallout that prevents them from being together – this is occasionally where we get to cry.  Finally, we get the happy conclusion that makes everyone smile. The Princess Switch delivers on this perfectly.

It’s amusing, just before I watched this film, I watched Switched for Christmas from the Hallmark Channel. That film, starring Candace Cameron Bure, is also a Christmas romcom about swapping places (although with the more convincing story of twin sisters that have swapped places in the past). While Switched for Christmas doesn’t work without Christmas, as it plays such a large role in the plot, The Princess Switch survives in pretty much any setting. Christmas is very much a background theme that contributes to the situations we experience, but it isn’t critical to the success of the film. I can appreciate both styles of story telling, but I think I enjoyed Christmas as a background character rather than a leading role a bit more.

At the end of the day, this film won’t be the family Christmas classic that The Christmas Chronicles is destined to become but it is a cute holiday movie that fits nicely into holiday playlists. It is worth making a couple mugs of hot chocolate, grabbing a few sugar cookies, and curling up on the couch with your significant other to enjoy this movie. Then again, PJs and a big blanket are perfectly fine to watch this movie solo, I would still recommend the hot chocolate and sugar cookies though.

The Princess Switch
The Princess Switch OneSheet

Movie title: The Princess Switch

Movie description: One week before Christmas, Margaret, the gorgeous Duchess of Montenaro, switches places with Stacy, a “commoner” from Chicago, who looks exactly like her. With the assistance of a magical Santa's helper, Margaret falls in love with Stacy’s handsome co-worker, while Stacy falls in love with Margaret's fiance, the dashing Prince.

Date published: 2018-11-16

Director(s): Mike Rohl

Actor(s): Vanessa Hudgens, Sam Palladio, Nick Sagar, Alexa Adeosun, Suanne Braun, Mark Fleischmann

Genre: Romance, Comedy,

  • Overall
  • Giggles & Grins