Amber and Richard met when she was a journalist covering his coronation. Inevitably she became his, and Aldovia’s, Queen. That just about catches you up on the first two movies. In this, the third, the royal couple is expecting their first child, a future king or queen, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s Christmas time again. These two crazy kids do everything around the holidays (presumably Aldovia’s national holiday must be on or around March 25th.) But before they can start their parental leave, they have to welcome visiting monarchs from the neighbouring also-made-up-country of Penglia to observe the 600th anniversary of the end of a war between the two countries.
What could possibly go wrong? Will Queen Amber’s belly get in the way of putting on her slippers? Naturally. Will some paperwork get misplaced? Unfortunately – resulting in the most scorching whodunit since Rian Johnson’s Knives Out. Everyone in the castle is a suspect and due to inclement weather, no one’s been in or out. And the stakes are high: a curse on the still-unborn baby prince. So, a cross between Knives Out and Maleficient, perhaps. But Christmas-themed and dripping with hot greasy cheese. Plus it cures sexism!
It’s hard to tell if the script is bad or the lines are just misdelivered by bad actors. Actually, it’s pretty easy to tell: it’s both. Red hot BOTH. The star of the show, Rose McIver, relies solely on bump cradling to get her through all manner of scenes: royal duties, guided meditation, a little light espionage. But Netflix knows what it’s doing (this is the third in the franchise in as many years, after all): allow grown women to indulge their princess fantasies, peek behind the castle doors in a way that Kate and Meghan will never allow (or be allowed), and pretend for 90 minutes that the kind of man who could make you a princess and give you a castle will also plan romantic dates and rub your feet and respect your career. Netflix is (almost) literally printing money with this formula and you can take it or leave it because they don’t need you. This movie will stream more times in its first 12 hours than Scorsese’s The Irishman has in 3 weeks.