www.whyville.net Jul 5, 2009 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Movie Review: Princess Protection Program

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The Cast

Selena Gomez - Carter Mason
Demi Lovato - Rosalinda/Rosie Gonzales
Tom Verica - General Joe Mason
Molly Hagan - Director of Princess Protection Program
Robert Adamson - Donnie
Jamie Chung - Chelsea Barnes
Samantha Droke - Brooke
Nicholas Braun - Ed
Sully Diaz - Sophia Gonzales (Rosalinda's mother)
Johnny Ray - General Magnus Kane (evil dictator)

The Plot

Princess Rosalinda is preparing for her coronation to become queen of Costa Luna, when the country is invaded by an evil dictator. Rosalinda escapes with General Joe Mason but she is forced to leave her mother behind. General Mason is an agent from the Princess Protection Program, an agency that protects princesses from harm by hiding them. The PPP transforms Rosalinda into an average girl and gives her a new identity - Rosie. She then goes into hiding - living in Louisiana with General Mason and his daughter, Carter.

Carter is an average American teenager. She dislikes the popular girls at her school because they act like "princesses." When Carter learns that Rosalinda, a princess, will be staying with her, she immediately dislikes her. Carter thinks Rosalinda is just like the other "princesses" she knows. When Carter learns Rosalinda's circumstances, she has a change of heart. Carter helps Rosalinda transition to an average American teenager. In turn, Rosalinda helps Carter overcome her insecurities and brings out her inner princess. Rosalinda fits in better than Carter expects - she is taken in by the popular girls and even captures the interest of Carter's long-time crush, Donnie. Meanwhile, back at Costa Luna, the evil dictator plans to force Rosalinda's mother into marriage in hopes that Rosalinda will return to Costa Luna.

The Criticism

Factual errors:

-Everyone in Costa Luna has an accent - except Rosalinda. It is unrealistic that a princess born and raised in her native country would not have an accent, while her mother and people do.

-The PPP gives Rosalinda a ridiculous makeover. They simply cut her hair, give her American clothes, and a new identity that is too close to her real one. She is supposed to be undercover. The makeover proves to be futile when Brooke sees Rosalinda in a magazine and recognizes her as "Rosie".

-In the scene with Rosalinda working at the frozen yogurt shop - Chelsea Barnes is repeatedly seen inside the shop AND outside in her car.

Disney stereotypes:

-The single parent: Carter and Rosalinda both have single parents. Rosalinda's sole parent is made prominent in the movie because her father's death entitles her to the throne of Costa Luna. (Disney characters with single parents: Miley Stewart in "Hannah Montana", Zack and Cody Martin in "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody", Cory Baxter in "Cory in the House", and Izzy Daniels in "Jump In".)

-The "dumb" character: Brooke, the latter of the two mean girls, is dumb. (e.g. London Tipton in "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody", Ella in "Camp Rock", Chelsea Daniels in "That's So Raven", and Newton Livingston in "Cory in the House")

-The main character keeping a secret: Rosalinda goes undercover as a normal American teenager and can't tell anyone that she is secretly a princess. (e.g. Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana in "Hannah Montana", the Jonas Brothers in "Jonas", the Russo family in "Wizards of Waverly Place", and Virgil, Charlie and Zeke in "Minutemen")

I was disappointed by the acting in this movie, especially Demi Lovato's. She failed to display genuine emotion and delivered her lines in a monotone way. Her true talent shines in the Disney series "Sonny With a Chance". On the other hand, Selena Gomez played her role naturally. But it isn't hard to portray an average American teenager when, in a sense, you are one in real life. The adult actors, which consist of General Mason, the director of the PPP, Rosalinda's mother, and the evil dictator, were all well cast.

In conclusion, "Princess Protection Program" is an over-hyped movie that doesn't live up to the hype. The movie was boring until the very end. There wasn't enough going on to keep you in suspense. Also, there was a frustrating pattern of Carter liking/not liking Rosalinda. Then there are the things I mentioned already: the noticeable factual errors, the many Disney stereotypes, and Demi Lovato's poor acting. I want you to keep in mind that I am sixteen years old. I am not in the target audience of this movie. The target audience, most likely seven to thirteen year olds, would have a different perspective.



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