The Princess Switch: Switched Again is more Vanessa Hudgens drag variety hour than holiday rom-com

In a world of love, chaos, succession and suffering, everything revolves around a life destined for royalty. To run a country in this world, you must be prepared to give up your life. To secure your legacy, you must be prepared to give up even more than that.

This is the story of Netflix The Princess Switch: switched again.

But Switched again is obviously not The crown. It’s a cute holiday flick, which means it’s more of harmless fun than dramatic royal tension. The burgeoning of Netflix Princess switch The cinematic universe is best defined by plenty of baking scenes and the magical holiday trope of “anything can happen this Christmas” – two crucial elements of Netflix’s ongoing saccharine assault on Hallmark Channel territory.

the Princess switch The saga began when the humble Chicago baker Stacy (Vanessa Hudgens) and Lady Margaret (also Hudgens), Duchess of the fictional European country of Montenaro, engaged in The Prince and the Poor-Twin-styled Tomfoolery in a holiday baking contest in the fictional kingdom of Belgravia.

The latter got to live a normal person’s life for just one day, and the former got a taste for the luxury life. Despite the fraud and perhaps some light espionage (listen, we don’t know what kind of state secrets Stacy could possibly leak), their friends and the realms of Montenaro and Belgravia have forgiven the two for their plan and have them. allowed to live happily ever after. after. And all because they were being honest about their feelings – in particular, their romantic feelings for their newfound love interests.

In Switched again, Hudgens repeats both roles and adds a third character to the mix. Hudgens is now also Fiona, Margaret’s party cousin, who has apparently existed all this time in the Princess switch universe, but only recently surfaced thanks to Margaret’s impending coronation as ruler of Montenaro. With Fiona in the mix, the series goes from the vacation romantic comedy of its predecessor to something better resembling a Vanessa Hudgens Variety Hour. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it turns out. That might not be what fans of the silly, predictable, and invariably vacation-themed original really want.

Welcome to Vanessa Hudgens’ drag brunch

Vanessa Hudgens x Vanessa Hudgens in The Princess Switch: switched again.
Courtesy of Netflix

Switched again begins where the first movie left off. (Netflix offers a two-minute recap at the start, in case you forgot the simplistic plot or if you are, for some reason, a first time Princess switch spectator.) Stacy and Prince Edward of Belgravia (Sam Palladio) are now married after falling in love when Stacy and Margaret switched places, making Stacy royalty. Margaret and Kevin (Nick sagar), Stacy’s best friend and sub-baker, fell in love too. But as Stacy recounts in the recap, the King of Montenaro is dead and Margaret is next in line for the throne. It harms their relationship and the stress led to Margaret and Kevin’s breakup.

You might have guessed by now that this story isn’t really about Margaret becoming Montenaro’s new benevolent dictator. Rather, Switched again asks if a subsequent exchange between Margaret and Stacy can mend the former’s fractured relationship. The two hatch a plan to switch places again, to see if a few hours spent out of the spotlight (and with Kevin instead) will do the trick.

Under normal circumstances, that would be a horrible plan. But this is the Princess switch universe, where romances flourish because people lie about who they really are. Switching places for a day could certainly be a way to save Kevin and Margaret’s relationship.

The problem is, Fiona, Margaret’s party cousin who looks exactly like Margaret and Stacy, gets in the way. Although she is royal by relationship, she has no more money, which is why she wants to kidnap and change places with Margaret for a day. Fiona believes that if she assumes Margaret’s identity, she can write herself a huge check and live in Capri forever.

While Fiona’s dreams are somewhat enviable, her execution leaves a lot to be desired. She doesn’t seem to have understood the very complicated task of kidnapping a royal, nor has she taken into account anything that happens after fleeing for Capri. (Who will rule Montenaro if Margaret is gone? What if Margaret informs the authorities about the high treason Fiona committed by kidnapping a royal? Should Fiona just murder Margaret to keep her silent?)

Fiona’s logic, like the plot of Princess switch the films themselves are not well developed, but asking for logic or plot in any holiday film is a wasteful exercise. It’s like going to a donut store and ordering the one with the fewest calories: it’s a donut, not a healthy food. Vacation movie buffs get a great deal with vacation movie producers so they don’t worry about pesky earthly inconveniences like logic, reality or pessimism, and in return, they’ll be filled with a harmless, absurd and silly joy.

And in The Princess Switch: switched againAt the heart of this joy is Hudgens’ terrible British accent.

Almost everyone in Montenaro and Belgravia, including Margaret d’Hudgens, speaks inexplicably with a strange, vaguely British accent. This was established in the first film, and Hudgens still looks far from authentic the second time around. Its ugly accent reminds me of wild scenarios, in which it’s a satirical nod to the evils of colonialism, or perhaps some sort of statement about Montenaro’s class and wealth, but Occam’s razor suggests that Hudgens just isn’t good at doing a British accent. (Or maybe is it really deliberately bad?)

Hudgens’ muffled inflections make a lot more sense when she plays Stacy (a Chicagoan) posing as Margaret. Fiona, who is not from Chicago but is a cousin of Margaret, has the same speech patterns as Stacy, Margaret and Stacy impersonating Margaret, but she seems to channel a bit of Eartha Kitt in flash.

By blowing Hudgens between these three characters, Switched again looks something like Vanessa Hudgens’s Drag Race or Vanessa Hudgens presents: Westworld. A lot of time is spent watching Vanessa Hudgens say the words “crowning”, “orphans” and “Kevin” to Vanessa Hudgens. When those moments don’t happen, it’s Vanessa Hudgens in a blonde wig saying something vaguely bitchy to dark-haired Vanessa Hudgens. The film is both a test of Hudgens’ innate charisma and how much viewers love to watch her.

The downside of Switched again The full-fledged Hudgens charm offensive is that the holiday antics of the first film aren’t quite as present this time around. The silly tricks of Christmas magic and effects like the Belgravia Holiday Baking Contest barely exist. The absurd matchmaking hijinks are also gone. The supporting characters are mixed on the side, with the exception of small instances where the movie remembers two of them being the love interests of the main characters. There’s hardly any reason this movie is tied to the holidays, except that Montenaro’s coronation traditionally takes place at Christmas.

A bit like the previous film, Switched again is a perfectly harmless way to burn 90 minutes, during which you don’t worry about the horrible things going on in real life. It’s harmlessly good – the conflict is never too much, and the happy ending is happy enough. Hudgens is a game and extremely fun to watch, which is a big hit from the movie’s part. But with Princess Switch now supposed to be one of Netflix’s brand new vacation movie franchises, with stakes this low and the vacation movie curve, you wouldn’t mind wishing for something a little sillier and more cheesy, with a little less take-offs and less hammered accents.

The Princess Switch: switched again currently streaming on Netflix.