Royally Ever After (2018)

If people knew how to Google, we wouldn’t have movies like Royally Ever After, which can be good or bad depending. I’m not going to object to something filmed in Ireland, but really, wholesome Hallmark white girls, at least use Bing if you’re seeing some European who’s being a bit evasive about his background. Here we have another case of girl-who-doesn’t-realize-she’s-dating-a-prince, and as always, things sour when she finds out.

Sara (Fiona Gubelmann) is just your average grade school teacher living that New Jersey life when her boyfriend of one year, Danny (Torrance Coombs), pops the question via cupcake. He chooses this moment to reveal his royal status and tells her that, surprise, it’s totally cool if she wants some time to take it all in but, hey, he’s flying home tomorrow so he kind of needs an answer right now cause the royal jet’s waiting.

Danny, rather Daniel Seamus Horatio Hughes of St. Ives, makes it hard for me to get behind him. Besides neglecting to share this little piece of information with the woman he wants to marry, he makes no effort to support her when she does accept his proposal and finds her plebeian ass in his royal digs. On the way to meeting the king and queen (Barry McGovern Carmen Du Sautoy) and mindful of her new environment, Sara specifically asks him to clarify protocol so she’ll avoid any missteps. He brushes off her nerves, telling her that everything’s going to be just fine.

Of course it’s not, and she goes on to make a series of slight but still embarrassing blunders. Her actions, which includes kissing the prince at a function and stealing away with him for an ice cream date, open up the couple and the royal family to press scrutiny. More importantly, they convince the skeptical king and queen that this commoner is not a suitable match for their son. Danny’s sister (Rebekah Wainwright), however, sees an opportunity to move up the line of succession. She encourages the relationship and is the one who finally instructs Sara on royal etiquette but for her own ends. Basically what I’m getting at is that Prince Harry would never leave Meghan hanging like this.

As far as Hallmark movies about Americans marrying English-accented princes, Royally Ever After falls somewhere in the middle. The script needs a fair bit of tightening still. Besides my issues with Danny, I don’t understand what anyone is thinking at the final ball. Their decisions are needlessly obstinate and not in keeping their character. The acting is fine though; Gubelmann is all smiles and Coombs cleans up nicely. The location adds a touch of grandeur as well. However, if you’re going to shoot in Ireland, actually shoot in Ireland. Aside from a brief but scenic limo ride and some fancy castle scenes, the movie might as well have been filmed in the empty field behind me.

Released: 2018
Dir: Lee Friedlander
Writer: Duane Poole, Gary Goldstein, Aury Wallington
Cast: Fiona Gubelmann, Torrance Coombs, Barry McGovern, Carmen Du Sautoy, Fiona Bell, John Guerrasio, Rebekah Wainwright
Time: 86 min
Lang: English
Country: United States
Network: Hallmark Channel
Reviewed: 2019

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