Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: New York hairdresser Izzy seizes the chance to work at the wedding of a charming prince. When sparks start to fly between the two of them love and duty are put to the test as the time of the wedding draws closer.
Review: Have you ever sat watching a movie wondering if it was meant to be as bad as it is or if the director was deliberately being terrible? Maybe it’s supposed to be a satirical look at the genre, or maybe it’s a comedy about romantic comedies? It’s not like we haven’t seen films that took the well-worn tropes found in romcoms and brilliantly turn them on their ear. Bridesmaids, 500 Days of Summer and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind are great examples of this. But the longer The Royal Treatment went on the more I realised this wasn’t a fun look at how generic romantic comedies can be, it was just ANOTHER generic romantic comedy.
The setup is a well-worn one. We have a bubbly pretty woman named Isabella/Izzy (Laura Morano) who everyone loves (established by her giving out free donuts to everyone in her neighbourhood) and who has a simple but fun life as a hairdresser. She’s inexplicably chosen to cut the hair of a young and handsome literal Disney prince-come-to-life, Prince Thomas (Mena Massoud, who you’ll recognise as the live-action version of Aladdin) and she does such an amazing job (in the movie’s opinion) that’s she’s hired to come to his home country of Lavania (maybe its neighbours with The Princess Diaries‘ country Genovia. What is it with these names? Sounds like somewhere Dracula might vacay).
Anyways, she brings along two friends who also work at her mother’s hair salon, Destiny and Lola, whose only personality traits are “overly excited” and “friend to lead female”. And after some singing and literal dancing Izzy and the Prince catch feelings. Throw in meddling in-laws to be, the wise and fatherly majordomo (that’s fancy talk for head butler) and a place that’s supposed to be a foreign country where everyone struggles to put on a believable foreign accent (most of the filming was in New Zealand so if everyone sounds vaguely Australian, that’s why, and don’t get me started on the lady with the so called French accent. Yeesh!) and just like that, you have yourself another forgettable and very laughable excuse for a romantic comedy.
There’s really not much worth reviewing here as I can barely call what I saw acting. The characters are all thinly written and the locations are all lazily shot in a way you can’t help but notice the budget limitations of this film. The one saving grace might be the chemistry between the leads who seem like they genuinely enjoy each other’s company. But even that’s not enough to cover up how soulless this endeavour was. And with an ending that straight-up rips off a MUCH better romcom (Pretty Woman might have its own thematic issues, but it’s still a gem of a movie), if this is what royal treatment looks like, I think I’ll stick with the simple life.
Sommer’s Score: 4 out of 10
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Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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