‘The Princess Switch 3: The Princess Star’ opens with a quick summary of events so far – Chicago baker Stacy (Vanessa Hudgens) becomes Princess of Belgravia after marrying Edward Wyndham, Prince of Belgravia (Sam Palladio). Meanwhile her best friend and doppelganger Lady Margaret, Queen of Montenaro (also Hudgens) is married to Kevin (Nick Sagar). In the last movie, Margaret’s cousin Fiona (also Hudgens) tried to steal Margaret’s throne, landing herself in community service. But now, when a priceless relic is stolen, they enlist Fiona’s help.
One has the feeling that more time and effort will be spent trying to summarise the events of this series so far than talking about this third installment’s qualities. After all, there isn’t all that much to say about ‘The Princess Switch’ threequel’s quality – and one can pretty much surmise where we’re going with the story within its first few minutes.
Banking off the success (but was it really?) of Netflix’s ‘The Christmas Prince’ three-part series (which a colleague this reviewer was speaking to, was perplexed is different to ‘The Princess Switch’ franchise), ‘The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star’ ensures that we not only get several royals and the décor, glamour and costumes to match (what else could female viewers possibly want?), but also that our original bad guy – who also happens to be a lot of “fun” – gets a redemption narrative. Ironically, it has a very Sharpay Evans in ‘High School Musical’ feel about it, when it was that movie that launched Hudgens to fame.
The threequel sees Fiona reunite with an old friend and ex-boyfriend, Peter (Remy Hii), in a vague heist narrative to steal back the relic. One is baffled as to why the royals have to hire a bunch of thieves for this job, when surely they’d have professional security and Intel to ensure the item’s return? Not to mention that by the finale, they’re clumsily manhandling this supposedly “priceless” object.
The very basic, very silly, and plot hole-filled narrative winds its way so that both royals have to impersonate Fiona. After all, there’s not exactly much more to do with Stacy and Margaret’s characters, given now they’re married they’re about as useful as broken Christmas baubles. But don’t worry about Fiona’s unmarried status compared to her doppelgangers, as one knows by the end, she’ll have found a mate. After all, women’s lives are incomplete without some man, and that’s what they really need for a happy ending, right?
‘The Princess Switch 3’, at the very least, has an impressive tango sequence where Hudgens and her partner impress. But it’s a struggle to find much else of interest and enjoyment in this – especially when really far too many silly dance sequences follow.