The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again REVIEW – A Family Friendly Christmas Film

You know exactly what you're going to get with this film.

The Princess Switch 2
Image from film

Netflix has stepped up its game vis-a-vis seasonal diabetes inducing content recently. It has given us cinematic gems such as Operation Christmas Drop, Holidate, the first Princess Switch, and no less than three installments of A Christmas Prince. It is the sequel to The Princess Switch that we will be discussing today.

For those unfamiliar with the plot of the original movie, Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper would be an excellent reference point. Simply put, a newly single Stacy (Vanessa Hudgens) is your everyday Ordinary Girl from Chicago. She ends up in the vaguely Scandinavian sounding kingdom of Belgravia with her best friend Kevin (Nick Sagar) for a baking competition, and hijinks ensue. Stacy runs into Lady Margaret Delacourt (also Vanessa Hudgens), who, after the briefest of encounters, asks Stacy to switch with her for a couple of days so she could experience life out of the spotlight before her wedding to Prince Edward of Belgravia (Sam Palladio). Long story short – Stacy marries the Prince, Lady Margaret ends up with Kevin and the movie ends in unicorns and rainbows.

The sequel picks up two years after the events of the first movie. Stacy is immersing herself in her duties as Princess of Belgravia, which seems to be driving a wedge between her and her husband. The recap of the past two years also tells us that, in a series of Windsor-esque events, Margaret will be the next Queen of Montenaro. Unable to reconcile their worlds, Margaret and Kevin have broken up off screen.

On the way to Margaret’s coronation, Stacy drops by Chicago to convince Kevin and his daughter Olivia to come visit as well. In fact, Stacy spends the entirety of the movie pushing the exes together, despite clear communication that they are not ready to meet yet. But then again, this is a Christmas movie, so we shall go with it. Dropped into this delicate mix is a third Vanessa Hudgens – Lady Margaret’s scheming, party girl cousin Fiona.

Hudgens does a reasonably average job of keeping the three Vanessas (Vanessae? Vanessi?) distinct from each other, and clearly has a blast doing it. In case anyone needs a guide – Stacy is the one with an American accent, Lady Margaret is the British sounding one (as the subtitles declare repeatedly lest we forget) and Lady Fiona is also British but spends every half a minute pouting. The fact that all the royals in this fictional country speaks in somewhat British accents could either be a searing commentary on the effects of British colonialism, or just half hearted accent training. Either way, the costume and production design by Francisco Rodriguez-Weil and Pat Campbell ensure that the entire movie is so bathed in gorgeous reds, greens and goldens that one does not waste time thinking about potential hidden metaphors.

A particular drawback of this sequel is that it does not spend enough time on each of the storylines, spending most of its time on Lady Margaret. What is more, the ‘switch’ part of the title takes a while to be set in motion, making the first half drag on a bit.

The rest of the cast is sufficiently dreamy and give decent performances. On the more delightful side of the spectrum are Ricky Norwood and Florence Hall as Fiona’s bumbling minions, Reggie and Mindy. Although the ‘dim sidekick’ trope is one that has been done to death, Reggie and Mindy are welcome additions to a cast that, while devastatingly attractive, needed some help in the humour department.

Several characters from the previous movies reprise their roles as well, to varying degrees of success. There is even a crossover cameo at the end, opening up possibilities for a Netflix Christmas Movie Universe, if you will. This does not seem like too far fetched a theory, especially considering news of a third Princess Switch movie in the works for 2021.

With all the look-alikes and secret scheming going around, does the mind boggle? Well, yes. But if you clicked on a movie titled The Princess Switch: Switched Again, it’s pretty clear you weren’t looking for a cerebral thriller anyway. You know what you’re going to get with these movies – low stakes, family friendly, Christmas-themed fun, and this sequel delivers that in spades.

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The Princess Switch 2
With predictable stakes and terrible accents galore, The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again is harmlessly likeable, but a one time watch.