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April 13, 2004 > The Prince and Me

The Prince and Me

Rated: PG for sex-related material and language

by Susana Nu&241;ez

A modern-day fairy tale for modern-day girls and boys has hit the theatres with the unlikely Julia Stiles playing the damsel. Her portrayal of Paige Morgan, a pre-med student from rural Wisconsin, is yet another success to add to her list of accredited roles. In her past films, audiences have seen Stiles play strong characters such as rebellious Katarina 'Kat' Stratford in Ten Things I Hate About You and exceptional scholar Joanie in Mona Lisa Smile. This film continues her trademark style. However, The Prince and Me allows Stiles to express her femininity in a manner that accentuates her unconventional beauty.

In The Prince and Me, Paige Morgan is a young college student who aspires to become a doctor who will travel the world helping the underprivileged. Determined to achieve her goal, she doggedly avoids distractions that hit many young college students, including dating. When "Eddie" (Prince Edvard of Denmark played by Luke Mably), meets Paige, she pays little attention to him. The prince, who has moved to the United States along with his trusty secretary Soren (Ben Miller) to pursue a more private life, has never experienced rejection and is intrigued.

What would a film about royalty be without a royal setting? Many of the film's most important scenes take place in the "Royal Palace" which director Martha Coolidge and production designer James Spencer modeled after Denmark's Fredericksburg Castle. A single location was deemed too limiting for the film, and in the end, Spencer employed two castles and a monastery to create the family palace.

Scouting for scenery of Paige's hometown was much easier. The scenes, shot on a real working family dairy farm, depict the rural life filmmakers wanted to create for Paige, making the film much more authentic. About her farm experience, Stiles stated, "The coolest thing about being an actress is that you get to experience things you would not normally discover. I grew up in New York City, so I had no idea how a farm works. Now, I know how to milk a cow by hand...although I don't think I can ever drink milk again."

The Prince and Me is thoroughly entertaining and well worth the trip to the theatre.

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