As teen rom coms go, Monte Carlo is pretty standard, formulaic stuff. A cross between Cinderella, Roman Holiday and Sex and the City with a bit of the old Parent Trap style mistaken identity switcheroo thrown in, all the essential elements are there – lovelorn heroine, one sassy girl, one straightlaced girl, lots of glamorous clothes and a few cute guys. Check, check and check.
Grace (Disney star Gomez), Emma (Cassidy) and Meg (Gossip Girl’s Meester) are three small town girls who embark on the trip of a lifetime to Paris. When they become separated from their dreary organised tour of the city, the trio sneak into lobby of a five star hotel to shelter from the rain, and so begins their fairytale adventure. Grace bears an uncanny resemblance to spoiled British heiress Cordelia Winthrop Scott, who just happens to be in the hotel at the same time, and, through a series of mishaps, the girls find themselves whisked off to Monte Carlo for a charity ball.
With the real Cordelia AWOL, Grace and her chums are free to enjoy her luxury lifestyle. Problems start when Cordelia’s aunt, regally played by Catherine Tate, realises that she is an imposter. Meanwhile, Grace’s growing feelings for her suave young host further complicate things. The slapstick comedy really kicks in when the real Cordelia arrives with much running through corridors, slamming of doors and hiding out on balconies.
Selena Gomez is as cute as a button but the fact that she looks about 12 makes the tender moments with her studly beau a little disconcerting. However, it’s all good clean fun with some nice locations and a bit of bling. The tweens will probably like it, unless they have a Y chromosome, in which case they won’t.
Is Monte Carlo suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Gomez’s English accent is certainly frightful, but apart from that there’s nothing to cause alarm.