Book vs. Movie: The Princess Diaries

Hey guys!
Today I want to share my opinion on The Princess Diaries. The movie marked Anne Hathaway’s breakthrough but did you know that it’s based on a series of books? Let’s get down to it!

The Plot:

Mia’s life is about to be turned upside down. The unpopular teenager finds out that she the heir apparent to a tiny European monarchy and thus a princess…

Book vs. Movie:

The one word to describe this book is annoying.
I know this book aimed at teens, so I thought the problem might be that I am in my mid-twenties. However, after I spend some more time pondering on that, I realized that I would have hated it even as a teen. Mia isn’t popular at school and others pick on her, so far, so relatable. But that’s exactly where it ends.

She says so many cringy and dumb things it made me want to throw up. Mia is extremely bratty and self-absorbed. I couldn’t be bothered to care for her. Let me give you an example. Other than in the movie version, Mia knows her father and has visited him in Genovia during her summer holidays. She even did a presentation on the small monarchy at school. However, she never realized that her grandmother is the queen. How exactly can something like that escape your notice?

At some point, her best friend Lilly’s brother says something to Mia she doesn’t understand. Lilly explains to her that he was sexually harassing her. So, what is Mia’s reaction to that? Something like: “OMG, really? A cute boy could be harassing me and I wouldn’t even notice, that’s so embarrassing!” I rolled my eyes so hard at that they almost fell out of my head.
For your information: the book is actually written in for of Mia’s diary. So, it’s a rather quick read. It can be somewhat funny at times, but mostly it was a disappointment for me.

Let’s turn to the movie instead. I came out in 2001 and 7-year- old me went to the cinema to watch.
The film is rather different from the book. Thank the Gods for that!
First of all, Anne Hathaway is charming, adorable and relatable. Her performance alone is worth watching the film. While I didn’t care for book Mia, I want to be friends with movie Mia! (The only thing I never got was her obsession with Josh, that guy never appealed to me)

Then there’s Julie Andrews as Queen of Genovia. She nothing short of divine. Andrews was the perfect choice for the role!
We get so many other great actors who make this film the adorable chick flick it is. Of course, the movie also features many of your chick-flick clichés but if you are in the mood for this kind of film, The Princess Diaries is definitely on the better side of the spectrum.

While the book underwhelmed me, I found the adaptation to be charming. What could have easily been a terrible and cheap chick flick, thrives because of the great cast. So please skip the book and just watch the movie!

Did you prefer the book or the movie? Let me know in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “Book vs. Movie: The Princess Diaries

  1. Nice review! I completely forgot this was based on a book and kind of glad I never read it as a teen. I mostly remember loving the movie growing up, and would probably still considerate one of my “guilty pleasures”. I’m not sure the film would’ve been as charming without Anne in the leading role or Gary Marshall’s direction.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I couldn’t agree more, the movies are fun to watch, and both J.A and A.H. perform very well. However the books annoyed me so much! Firstly Mia isnt even unpopular, she has awesome friends and a loving family and soon a loving and supporting boyfriend! (seriously what else do you need in life?) And she messes it all up herself! (breaks up with her bf on a whim and starts dating her best friend’s ex? how dumb is that?) all her diaries are about is her whining that her life sucks while she is so privileged.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Top 5 Tuesday: Books I’d rewrite | The Punk Theory

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