starring Julia Stiles, Luke Mably, Ben Miller, James Fox
screenplay by Jack Amiel & Michael Begler and Katherine Fugate
directed by Martha Coolidge
by Walter Chaw Surprisingly good not the same thing as genuinely good, Martha Coolidge's The Prince & Me returns the director to her Valley Girl formula of cross-cultural teen romantic hurlyburly with a few nice moments and the pleasing aura of a light fantasy, but the film finds itself weighed down at the end by the requirements of its exhausted genre. Moreover, The Prince & Me fails the courage test, needing desperately to have ended about ten minutes before it actually does, and though not a moment of it demands (nor could a moment of it bear) to be assessed through the prism of realism, the gadget of its finale is less "fairytale" than insipid. One cliffhanger is more than enough in most fables, so when The Prince & Me decides to follow twist fast with preordained turn, it exposes its structure as far too flimsy to support the burden of those contortions.