Welcome to Fucked Up YA Adaptions where I look at some YA adaptions that were a little less than great.
Okay, they were horrible and defecated on the books they’re based on. I decided to start with The Princess Diaries 2, I know that it’s a sequel, but here’s the thing the first movie was a decent adaption to the book.
Sure, they changed a lot of things. Things that made what was a hilarious book vanilla. But these changes were acceptable since they still kept the heart of the story there. And everyone seemed to give it their all too. Even though I like my Grandmere evil, I enjoyed Julie Andrews Mary Poppins-fied Grandmere. That being said as much as I gave the film company a past for the changes they made in the first film.
Why did they need to make a sequel?
The only good thing about this movie is that Meg Cabot probably got compensated for it. Oh, and the cat. The cat was adorable. Everything else, not so much.
I think what amazes me most about the gross awfulness of this movie, is the cast and crew that was involved in its production. For the most part, everyone who was involved with this project had talent. And we say that in the previous production. But everyone (including Julie Andrews) just seemed resigned that this movie was going to sort of suck and that’s sad.
But given the script, I have to say they had a reason to be resigned, but when researching for this blog article (Meaning watching the credits and fact checking via IMDB) I found out that the screenplay and story where created by the woman behind Grey’s Anatomy.
Yeah, Shondra Rhimes was behind this one which surprised me because, well, the early seasons of Grey’s Anatomy had substance. And I hear that Scandal is pretty good too. This movie though makes me really wonder why she thought she had any rights to criticize Amy Sherman Palladino’s Bunheads last year because Palladino’s writing looks like it’s Pulitzer Prize winning compared to this turd of a movie.
I’m serious. I had a difficult time wrapping it around my head that this is the woman who created McDreamy. I could write a better movie script than this it’s not that difficult. What the movie consists of (besides a horrible plot) are rehashes of jokes that were lame the first time around, stupid stunts that are better suited for Disney for Nincompoops, and characters that are fleshed out about as much as characters on Barney and Friends.
In other words, it could’ve very easily been a bad fan fic.
But doing a sequel on this sort of movie is hard, MJ, you’re probably saying. Yeah, true. But there really didn’t need to be a sequel in the first place. And if there did, they didn’t need to do a stupid plot where archaic rules coerce Mia to marry because a woman apparently can’t rule. That was just so stupid on so many levels. Why not consult with Cabot and ask her what aspects of the nine other books in the series they could take to make a movie? Personally, I think they probably could’ve taken aspects of books eight, nine, and ten and age them up a little bit and it would’ve made a great movie. Grant it, most of these books weren’t in existence at the time this monstrosity was released, but I’m sure the plans were already drawn up. As for Michael being MIA, I get the original actor didn’t want to return but you could always recast the role. Heck, Cabot outright states who Moscovitz looks like in the last book-Christian Bale which is really ironic considering that he and Hathaway played lovers in the Batman series.
I honestly feel for the people who had to make this movie. I really do. They could’ve tried their hardest and the movie would’ve still been a heaping pile of elephant dung. Which is why in a weird way, I admire them for not trying.
Seriously, they absolutely hammed up the awfulness. From the acting, to costume choices, and styling, everything about this one was a disaster.
I feel like they just wanted this one to be a bad movie. They even had Raven singing with Julie Andrews.
Raven freaking Raven.
I’m sorry you do not try to overshadow Julie Andrews, Raven. That is just so wrong on so many levels. That woman is a legend. You’re just a child star who’s best known for horrible fashion choices and having a Disney show that was almost as annoying as Hannah Montana.
Add mattress surfing to this and….
A vein almost popped in my forehead last night.
At least the numerous montages that Rhimes inserted throughout the movie sort of alllowed me breaks to stare at the cat-the only decent character in this movie. But seriously, the montages. That is lazy writing 101. And Rhimes indulges in it. I think Grey’s Anatomy at one point was even releasing albums based on their montages.
As I said before, what made me so angry was that it didn’t have to be this bad. If the script just had some smidgen of maturity which allowed the actors to have a shot at making it their own there might’ve been hope. As it was, it essentially shitted on one of my favorite books.
Upon reflection, I really have to wonder why it was made. The first movie was successful enough, but it wasn’t near as profitable as some of the YA books turned into movies out there. Yet it got a sequel. A part of me wonders if there’s more behind it than I can find via a simple Google search. If they really wanted to capitalize on the first movie they should’ve hired a competent script writer who didn’t think that diplomacy meant knowing how to use a fan or do another adaption of a different Cabot book.
Overall, it just really doesn’t work. I think this was one of those cases where you barely even recognized the source material. While the first movie was different from the books, at least the spirit of the book was felt. This film felt rather like a bad parody of the first one and nothing at all like Cabot’s wonderful books.