Every little girl dreams of becoming a princess, and that is exactly what happens to fifteen-year-old Californian Mia (Hathaway) in this Cinderella-style story. Raised by her single mother, she discovers her grandmother is Clarisse Renaldi (the wonderful Andrews), the queen of European principality Genovia, who wants Mia to take her rightful place as Crown Princess.
Of course, Mia is a gawky, modern teenager, so her transformation from average American gal to tiara-wearing princess is fraught with frustration and hilarious moments as Clarisse attempts to teach her the finer points of being a royal.
Sweetly done, thanks to a classy, luminous performance from Andrews, it’s a cute, amusing comedy from Pretty Woman’s Garry Marshall (watch out for his long-time friend, Hector Elizondo, as a co-star – he has appeared in nearly all of Marshall’s films) that’s especially appealing to the little girl lurking beneath the surface of all female viewers, not just the tween-age ones.
Is The Princess Diaries suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...