WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
When Duchess Margaret unexpectedly inherits the throne to Montenaro and hits a rough patch with Kevin, it's up to her double Stacy to save the day before a new lookalike, party girl Fiona foils their plans.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
I thought three Vanessa Hudgenses were going to be too much for me. The trailer for The Princess Switch: Switched Again proved 2020 really can throw anything our way, teasing a third, seemingly obnoxious addition in a blonde wig to the actress' regal Duchess Margaret and charming Stacy.
But even though Fiona is every bit as nasty as she seems, she made the sequel to Netflix's 2018 Christmas movie even more entertaining than the first film, with a few new delightful twists and turns.
Switched Again picks up some time after the first movie. Stacy is married to Prince Edward (Sam Palladio). She is trying to adjust to her new norm as Princess of Belgravia, but things didn't quite work out for Duchess Margaret and Kevin (Nick Sagar), who couldn't make it work with Margaret suddenly inheriting the throne to Montenaro. Of course, they're still madly in love and, with yet another switch, trying to secretly spend some time together to figure things out before Margaret's coronation. But a scheming Fiona's got a few plans of her own, derailing things for Vanessa one and two.
If you watched and liked The Princess Switch, you'll probably enjoy Switched Again even more. If you're expecting to be wholly blown away and ready to deck the halls after watching it though, this is not the movie for you.
The twists and turns in the storyline, and characters too, will remind you of Home Alone, but here the crooks are Fiona's henchmen (Florence Hall, Ricky Norwood), who aren't so much evil as garish and cartoonish. Fiona is a very kitschy character, exaggerated in such a way that kids will find her hilarious – though I will admit there were scenes with Hudgens, Hall and Norwood that I found myself laughing out loud.
I've got to hand it to Vanessa Hudgens; she's played both Margaret and Stacy so well. I thought I'd cringe at her meaner, very different Fiona. But she transformed into the Sharpay Evans-like character with such ease, Ashley Tisdale will be proud. It's certainly a new character for Hudgens – and I didn't mind it at all.
The film follows the usual romantic comedy formula, and you can pretty much predict what's going to happen, but again, I didn't mind that. With a romantic comedy, more specifically, a holiday one, I want to see everyone live happily ever after with a big coronation ceremony at the end – and a few cameos from the Netflix Holiday Cinematic Universe (yes, it's a thing, read all about it here) and Sam Palladio's Under The Tree tie it all together.
Switched Again has all the qualities of a good family Christmas movie – one that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, even with a pandemic keeping you from going outside. So with that, forget what I said about not getting excited to deck the halls – Switched Again is a welcome addition to the holiday rom-com line-up, especially when you're huddled up at home this Christmas. Vanessa Hudgens – all three versions of her – will have you laughing and smiling, reminding you 'tis, after all, the season to be jolly.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE