Netflix, over recent years, has more than proven it’s self a force to be reckoned with when it comes to creating original content. Whether that be the fan favourite ‘Stranger Things’, it’s interesting crime documentaries or ‘The Crown’, the Netflix team certainly know what needs doing in order to keep viewing figures up. And when jingle bells start ringing and decorations appear, Netflix begins to pump out Christmas films as if they were going out of fashion.
Back in 2017, A Christmas Prince became one of the most watched movie’s on the streaming platform, with fans coming from all over the world. It was cheesy, unbelievable and predictable, but somehow this was a recipe for success. So much so, that A Christmas Prince: The Royal wedding followed in 2018, equally as cheesy, unbelievable and predictable. And now as we enter the festive season of 2019, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby is available to stream, and yep, you’ve guessed it. It’s cheesy, unbelievable and predictable…
With the third installment, we are taken back to the fictional world of Aldovia, where the royal family control everything and members of the press outnumber the population by at least 2 to 1. We find our leading lady Amber (Rose McIver), now happily married to King Richard (Ben Lamb) and expecting the couple’s first child. Well, they do say, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage. Anyway, as it always is in this series, it all seems sweetness and light until someone throws a spanner in the works and suddenly there’s a crisis that must be resolved by the deadline of Christmas Eve. In the first film it was a matter of tradition following coronation, then the drama of state money disappearing in the second, and now in the third, it’s a treaty that must be signed to prevent immediate war breaking out, and stop of an ancient curse falling upon the royal child….
To put it simply, and to describe all three films in a festive nutshell, the plots are basic, incredibly unrealistic, and about as obvious as night and day. None of the characters are particularly well developed and you can easily guess who the bad guys are in the blink of an eye. Despite all of this, somehow ‘The Royal Baby’ is still an easy watching and altogether enjoyable film. Just don’t expect to have to think too much and prepare yourselves for some ridiculously unbelievable plot points.
Let’s face it, Christmas movies are never the most complicated of things, they are supposed to be easy viewing enjoyment, but this series and this film in particular pushes that to the absolute extreme. I won’t give away any spoilers but if you are anything like me, you will be able to see the ‘plot twists’ coming from a mile away whilst starting to wonder how on earth anything in Aldovia actually works. You have tonnes of journalists one second, then none the next when the entire royal family and guests wonder around a Christmas market unguarded. The royal midwife is left driving through a snowstorm from the nearby town when a specially trained search dog can be brought in from miles away at a minute’s notice? Why should such a simple film, with a silly plot, leave me with so many questions?
You can’t say that the cast don’t really try and, to be honest, they do really well with what they are given, but they aren’t given much. Some plot points seem to continue on from the last film, whilst others are forgotten completely, and the plot doesn’t allow for much character development. Amber is still pulling on her past journalist career in order to solve a mystery, Richard is still going along with it, still pulling the same two faces throughout (seriously, he can either frown or smile, that’s it), Queen Helena (Alice Krige) is still trying to put a positive spin on everything and Princess Emily (Honor Kneafsey) is still proving to be the smartest member of the royal family.
Much like the two that come before it, A Christmas Prince : The Royal Family is sentimental and heartwarming, and could be much better if only the plots were more believable. Nevertheless, it’s a fun, easy going festive film that will give you that warm and cosy feeling on a cold winter’s day. And what more do you want from a Christmas film? Yes, it’s silly, stupidly predictable and totally unbelievable but, you know what, sometimes you just don’t want to think, you just watch to enjoy. And that’s exactly what you can do with this one.
Same time, same place, next year Netflix? Do you have another trip of Aldovia planned for 2020?