The Princess Diaries is a crappy movie. Still, I enjoyed it a teensy bit, partly because I had low expectations and mostly because the ingenue did a nice job of being an endearing 15-year-old klutz.
I don't mind formula movies (what else is there?) as long as I am entertained by deviations and variations. But this was bad writing. Julie Andrews (and ennui) drew me to the pic, but the writers gave her no part at all. There was nothing to be done with the part they gave her, and she didn't do what little was given her to do very well.
Too many of the gags were old, flat and stupid. And poorly executed. There were also fun things -- for instance, the very pleasurable, totally predictable, "happily-ever-after" close.
I thought, later, that it was Roman Holiday, upside down. Roman Holiday was a great feel-good movie. And that thought made me wonder, just a bit, about the delight us 'Mericans feel in portrayals of royalty. We delight most in comfortable, sit-com-ish royalty, I suppose. Yes, and, I suppose they must be the royalty of undiscovered countries, the countries from fairy tales that aren't the countries we already know.