Princess Diaries, The
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +3

Disney's gift to families this summer is THE PRINCESS DIARIES, a non-animated fairy tale with real live actors. Julie Andrews plays the Queen Clarisse of Genovia who has come to San Francisco to meet her teenage grand daughter, Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway). Queen Clarisse expects Mia to become the Princess of Genovia and live happily ever after in a beautiful castle far away, but finds clumsy Mia a most unlikely princess candidate. She lives with her divorced mom (Caroline Goodall), an eclectic artist, in an abandoned firehouse. Her frizzy hair and bushy eyebrows make her the brunt of cruel jokes at high school, and her only friends are fellow outcasts Lilly and her brother Michael (Heather Matarazzo and Robert Schwartzman). Queen Clarisse undertakes the mammoth job of turning this awkward cocoon into a beautiful, gracious butterfly. Is it possible? Of course. Little girls between 7 and 10 will look at THE PRINCESS DIARIES as a gift, but more sophisticated viewers may feel Disney "G" rated films should stick to animated cartoons.

As in most films about teenagers, popularity is defined by looks. Cheerleaders and athletes rule in school. Mia dreams of her first kiss coming from Josh (Erik Von Detten), the most popular guy in school, while Michael appreciates his sister's best friend as genuine, funny and very special. Once the secret is out that Mia is really a princess, those who joked about her now clamor to be her best friend. Mia's transformation from ugly duckling to drop-dead gorgeous almost destroys her friendship with Lilly as she gets caught up in being "popular." During her painful struggle to please her stern grandmother, Mia is consoled by the Queen's top security guard, Joe (Hector Elizondo). He acts as Mia's bodyguard, driver and wise counselor. Once he reminds her that "no one can make you feel inferior except yourself." These positive messages and the lack of foul language, sex, and violence make THE PRINCESS DIARIES a good choice, particularly for young girls.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Buena Vista (Walt Disney) Pictures, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Once Moderate (girl accidentally hits boy in stomach with baseball)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times (high school teenagers kiss)
Drug Abuse: None, but wine served at banquet
Other: Importance of friendship, self-confidence, respect for those who are 'different'
Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: All ages

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