The Prince and Me

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The Prince and Me (2004) was a romantic comedy starring Julia Stiles, with able supporting performances from Luke Mably (the prince) and Eliza Bennett (his little sister). Ben Miller as Soren steals nearly every scene he's in.

The film is about two young people trying to find themselves. Luke Mably, as the prince of Denmark, is frustrated because he has never achieved anything despite the advantages of being the son of modern royalty. He can command a Grand Prix race driver to a match, but it's not a privilege he's earned, and the driver obligingly steps off the gas pedal at the end to let him win. Even his manservant Soren feels disdain for the prince's arrogance. Julia Stiles is much more attractive as the pre-med student who learns a bit about Shakespeare and love from Edward, but realizes a marriage to him is not actually in her best interest. (This decision is revisited in an ill-fated sequel with a different actress. Luke Mably went on to portray a womanizing doctor in ABC's one-season Combat Hospital.)

Another theme winding through the film is the role of the paparazzi, tabloid photographers eager to splash pictures of the prince's indiscretions on the front page of the newspapers of the fledgling democracy. While Denmark in the film still has a King and Queen, it does not interfere with the freedom of the press.

Eddie has no friends. His younger sister adores him, and he has somehow managed to hang on to a loyal manservant, but he is utterly unlike his counterpart in the film. Paige has a coterie of friends, is doing work in her field (her going away party appears genuinely motivated), and even the rathskeller boss needs her waitressing skills. Eddie, meanwhile, is merely rich and bored. He has no one outside the castle who wants his company but sycophantic flirts.

So, of course, the movie requires that these two opposites meet (like two oppositely charged ions). Eddie tries to pick up Paige in the rathskellar and gets himself thrown out. His apology after organic chemistry class is dismissed by Paige: "I love being made to feel like a brainless slut by some sloppy lush." He tries to up the ante with a Shakespeare quote:

I have learned me to repent the sin
Of disobedient opposition
To you and your behests, [I] am enjoin'd

[and] beg your pardon.[1]

Paige can't understand why Eddie doesn't get the message, but she's intrigued nevertheless by him and his strange "friend" (Soren). Their budding courtship is marred by an episode with the paparazzi, but after finals Paige hops a plane to Denmark. She is literally swept off her feet by the prince and taken into his castle; he proposes marriage, and she accepts. Then she finds out how hard it would be to become a queen.


  1. IV, II - Romeo and Juliet