The Royal Treatment

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Laura Marano and Mena Massoud in The Royal Treatment.
Laura Marano and Mena Massoud in The Royal Treatment.
Photo: Kirsty Griffin/Netflix


The Royal Treatment




1/5 Stars


Isabella runs her own salon and isn't afraid to speak her mind, while Prince Thomas runs his own country and is about to marry for duty rather than love. When Izzy and her fellow stylists get the opportunity of a lifetime to do the hair for the royal wedding, she and Prince Thomas learn that taking control of their own destiny requires following their hearts.


I didn't have any expectations about The Royal Treatment. Actually, I expected it to be pretty bad. And yet, there I was this weekend, wanting to watch something mindless, but hopefully still entertaining, to pass the time between swims in the sweltering Cape Town heat. In hindsight, it's my fault, I know, but I wasn't just overheating and bored out of my mind watching this film. Let me tell you; I was royally disappointed.

The film follows a New York-based hairdresser, Isabelle (Laura Marano), who's having some money problems when she's called to cut Prince Thomas of Lavania's (Mena Massoud) hair. Obviously, they don't get along at first, but she signs on with some friends from her salon to be the hairdresser on the day of the prince's wedding, and after spending some time together, seeing how the other side lives and some charitable endeavours later, bada bing bada boom, they fall in love (*pretends to be shocked*) and must both choose between love and duty.

You'll know Laura Marano from Disney's Austin & Ally – and this pretty much feels like it should've been a Disney Channel, and only Disney Channel, movie – and Mena Massoud from Aladdin. And though Massoud is perfectly cast as the ca-utest prince (his wig at the start of the film, not so cute though – even me, I wanted to know, "What's with his hair?"), that's pretty much the only good thing I have to say about this otherwise drab movie.

The supporting cast, in both their characters and their acting, was forced, exaggerated and comical, but not in a good way, while Marano, our lead alongside Massoud, was just okay. The real crime, however, was her fake Italian-New York accent, which flip-flopped so many times, you'd swear she too is from a made-up land far, far away.

As for the storyline, it was far too predictable, with not one memorable or redeeming moment, never mind scene, to hold your attention for longer than a few minutes.

Listen, I'm not being unnecessarily harsh. I sat through all three Princess Switch movies – and somewhat enjoyed it. But the acting in this film was terrible, the characters themselves weren't well written to begin with, and in its entirety, it was just a really forgettable film.

Considering this is Netflix's bread and butter – churning out these movies as often as they do, with so many reinventions of the modern royal fairytale that it's become their Cinderella story – there's nothing setting The Royal Treatment apart. If I'm being completely honest, it really isn't even worth the few minutes of your time you'll initially invest in watching the preview as you're scrolling through your options. Don't be like me – skip it completely. Imagine dipping your toes in these waters, in this heat, only for it to be lukewarm. A royal disappointment indeed.


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