Back in 2017, a few days after it dropped on Netflix, A Christmas Prince took the world by storm. The story of a bottom-rung magazine writer on an undercover assignment to get the story on a notoriously womanizing prince that ends in, surprise, the two falling in love was a runaway hit. It was the gift that kept on giving, becoming so inexplicably popular that the Netflix Twitter account publicly shamed the 53 people who had apparently been watching the movie every day for nearly three weeks. With that kind of blatant success with an original holiday movie, why not make a sequel?
But when I sat down to review the followup, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, which debuts on the streaming service this weekend, I realized something troubling: I couldn’t remember a single thing about the plot. This is partly because I stupidly decided to watch A Christmas Prince, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding, The Princess Switch, and The Christmas Chronicles back-to-back over the course of a weekend, miring myself in a very Netflix-by-way-of-Hallmark brand of holiday cheer and a dangerously skewed perception of what it takes to rule a small country. (Netflix would have you believe even a pastry chef from Chicago could do it!)
But I also forgot most of A Christmas Prince 2’s plot because it doesn’t really have one. Maybe that’s too mean: it definitely has a plot, one that’s actually a little interesting this time -- there’s drama! intrigue! betrayal! a romantic side-plot wedged in right at the end that’s kind of hot! -- but Netflix knows that the only reason anyone is watching this movie is to see two cute people make out and yell at each other a little bit and then kiss again and get married. Nothing bad that happens has any real consequences, and the people who are enemies in the beginning end up friends in the end. Everything and everyone in the movie end up just fine, which is exactly what made the first one so appealing in the first place.