My Summer Prince (2016)

“Her Majesty The Queen is coming to Idaho” is a phrase I’m pretty sure you’ll hear on Hallmark and nowhere else. And since this is the channel that deals in impossibilities, I’m not surprised that this is a story about a wayward prince who falls in love with a fresh American PR rep who rescues him from a bit of a situation. Prince Colin of Edgemere (Jack Turner) turns to Deidre Kelly after a drunken romp in Greenbriar’s beloved fountain lands him in jail. He should be back home preparing for his mother’s jubilee ball, but that’s not how this prince rolls. With only days to go before the celebration, he has to make nice with the locals so they’ll let him leave.

The problem is Deidre Kelly (Lauren Holly) isn’t quite what Colin expected. In fact, the woman he meets isn’t Deidre at all but her assistant, Mandy Cooper (Taylor Cole). When her boss is laid up with the chicken pox, Mandy fills in at the last minute. The mix-up is never corrected, and Mandy tries to leverage the situation to prove that she can be more than a note taker and coffee girl. She lines up a full schedule of charity work and meet-and-greets for her client, earning the respect of both the prince and the townspeople in the process.

The actors do a lot to make up for the average plot, which offers few surprises. Holly and Marina Sirtis stand out in supporting parts. Deidre comes from a long line of insufferable bosses, albeit ones who are very good at their job, but Holly milks the role. Her character is precisely the type who would get chicken pox as an adult because she’s avoided children her whole life, even as a child. I also enjoyed Sirtis’s performance as the royal handler, Penelope, another smug type who can’t believe the crown has resorted to seeking help from the Americans. Both characters are self-assured enough though to show some humility when it’s merited.

The two leads don’t have trouble selling the story either. Cole has a slight change of pace as someone who’s more timid than usual. Mandy doesn’t take a decisive stand on ketchup storage, which sets her back professionally, but she’s kind and that does help her on the job. Anyway, she grows confident enough to wear a poofed, rose pink prom dress. Turner, meanwhile, is your basic prince, someone onto whom you can project your royal fantasies. He’s a bit more boyish than some of your other choices, but you know how palace life is. Colin just needs some room to breathe and maybe a trustworthy companion because homeboy’s a little lonely. He plays piano and likes the arts, a real bonus in my book. The actors are a natural, good-looking fit, evident by the two subsequent films they’ve made for Hallmark. Maybe they’ll pair up again for a sequel in the kingdom of Edgemere, and not going to lie, I’d watch it.

Released: 2016
Dir: Peter Sullivan
Writer: Topher Payne
Cast: Taylor Cole, Jack Turner, Lauren Holly, Marina Sirtis, Kassandra Clementi, Vanessa Angel, Brian Dare
Time: 83 min
Lang: English
Country: United States
Network: Hallmark Channel
Reviewed: 2019