The Princess Diaries

Published July 24, 2016

The Princess Diaries

Film info

  • Title The Princess Diaries
  • Director Garry Marshall
  • Year 2001
  • Run time 1hr 51m
  • Genres Romance, Comedy, Family
  • Tagline She rocks, she rules, she reigns

Shy San Francisco teenager Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) is thrown for a loop when, from out of the blue, she learns the astonishing news that she's a real-life princess! As the heir apparent to the crown of the small european principality of Genovia, Mia begins a comical journey towards the throne when her strict and formidable grandmother, queen Clarisse Renaldi (Julie Andrews), shows up to give her 'princess lesson.' The two instantly clash - Mia has no intention of leaving her normal life to become the ruler of a far-off country, while queen Clarisse insists it is her duty. Clarisse is determined to do a complete makeover of this sparkling - if not polished - diamond in the rough in order that she take her rightful place in the royal line of succession. Now the reluctant princess must make the biggest decision of her life - whether to remain with her family - or leave everything behind to accept the royal responsibilities that comes with being the princess of Genovia.

Background info

Title: The Princess Diaries Director: Garry Marshall Year: 2001 Run time: 1hr 51m

Live blog

1:38 – I love the idea of a spiral staircase but it seems crazy impractical. Not so much as a fireman’s pole. 6:09 – “What a frizz ball.” Oof, school sucks. 8:15 – Rocks Around the Clock. Genius! 12:58 – “No, it’s bigger than orthodonture.” 14:56 – You can’t have your only expectation to be invisible. 18:53 – Why would the country cease to exist though? There’s always an ancestor on another line, surely? 25:29 – Woah, she’s really not good at sports. 26:40 – “Let’s take the limo tomorrow…” See, she’s already adjusting to the life. 30:35 – I have so much affinity with Mia. 34:29 – Like a dog in a dashboard. Haha. Love Joe. 35:03 – “Grandma, I spun without hurting anyone!” 38:46 – Can’t believe the hairbrush broke! 44:41 – I think her bag is a sloth. Cute! 51:24 – “Good, a diplomatic answer. Polite but vague.” 1:05:13 – Fake country medals, reminds me of Cabin Pressure. 1:06:20 – “Goodbye, trolley people.” 1:10:52 – Why they saying Backstreet Boy like it’s a bad thing? Humph. 1:20:57 – Actual BSB song! That makes up for everything. 1:25:09 – Baseball rage. 1:29:18 – I quite like toodles as a goodbye. 1:48:52 – Princess does the robot.


I’m surprised it has taken me so long to get around to watching this because it’s been on my radar for a while. I read the book and was aware that this is how Ms Hathaway got her start in Hollywood, but just never got to the point of pressing play.

In honour of Garry Marshall, we quickly righted this wrong and watched the film. It’s quaint to see Hathaway so young but so quirky already, but if I’m honest, the star of the film for me was Joe. His guidance of the potential princess, his all-knowing attitude as a chauffeur, and the spark of romance with the wonderful Julie Andrews, awww, it has my heart warming just thinking about him.

You can tell this is from the Pretty Woman stable, as it has all the references (and cast!) that Marshall is familiar with, but that just makes it more enjoyable. It was, perhaps, the weakest of the Marshall films but still really, really feel-good for a Sunday afternoon watch.

Rating: 4/5.

Rating: 4 / 5

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