The Princess and the Plebeia 3 | Christmas can warm even the coldest heart

Netflix found a real gold mine when betting on stories that can be divided into two or three chapters, especially the romantic ones. For All the Boys I’ve Loved e The Kiss Booth these are two successful examples, which managed to attract a legion of fans for three years to follow the mature and affective development of a teenage protagonist, mixing with other social and family problems in life.

When the princess and the commoner arrived on Netflix in 2018, the success was instantaneous in many ways: there is a certain comfort and escapism in Christmas movies, whether because of the fantasy atmosphere that the setting proposes or the romance stories that take place under the mistletoe. Also, bring Vanessa Hudgens to star in a love story and comedy (right after starring in the novel A Past of the Present) also proved to be a real hit and a pretty good commercial move, as the actress made her name for years in the franchise. High School Musical, from Disney.

Vanessa Hudgens is back in triple dose in A Princesa ea Plebeia 3 (Image: Press Release / Netflix)

The story still follows another formula for success: putting people with the same appearance in dynamics on the screen, or just switching places, as happens in Cupid operation (1998). In 2020, the film gained a sequel that still introduced an antagonistic Hudgens and made the actress unfold into not just two characters as in the first film, but three totally different people.

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new adventure was by far the weakest feature in the franchise that now ends with the third film, Villains Love Too (whose title still doesn’t make sense with the initial proposal of the film). Now with Margaret and Stacy playing pivotal roles in London’s Belgravia royalty, the characters need the help of someone with a lot of malice to retrieve an important item in record time for a national Christmas event — and all of this acting in tandem with the local police .

Fiona Pembroke is the true protagonist of the third chapter of the Christmas franchise (Image: Publicity / Netflix)

While film two appeared to be hastily conceived, made and resolved, it is not wrong to say that Villains Love Too not only does she step on the brakes a little more to develop her story, it also brings a little more room to Fiona Pembroke, the villain of Vanessa Hudgens. In new adventure, the three characters had different arcs, all being portrayed at the same time, which made the dynamics a real mess.

In film three, the audience can get to know another side of the character that until then acted as a mere antagonist of the two main characters. In fact, the space for Fiona is given with so much affection and dedication (not only for the direction of Michael Rohl but also for the acting of Vanessa Hudgens) that the main vein of the plot also ends up getting a little sideways. This causes The Princess and the Commoner 3 deliver that light and romantic atmosphere of Christmas and get away from the children’s adventure, more focused on being a love story and that flirts directly with the Christmas spirit of this type of work.

The dynamic between the three characters from Hudgens remains the most fun point of the trilogy (Image: Press Release / Netflix)

This ends up working in different ways and even rescues a little of the various elements that made the first film work and be an instant success. Despite ignoring the other two characters from Hudgens and giving Fiona a lot more screen time (who now Christmas is finally softening her heart of stone), it makes room for other characters to shine as well while interact with antagonist: Remy Hii, who here plays love interest Peter Maxwell; Florence Hall, who plays the sidekick Mindy here; Will Kemp, who plays the villain Hunter Cunard; and Ricky Norwood, who plays Reggie.

On the contrary new adventure, the sequel brings much more harmony between the cast and their characters. The events take place in a lighter way and make room for comic situations and breaths between events with a lot of adventure. There’s also the already familiar delivery and versatility of Vanessa Hudgens both in front of and behind the camera, as acting as a producer the actress has much more creative freedom in the project.

Love is in the air in the new movie (Image: Press Release / Netflix)

Of course, as much as the film offers these moments of great romance, fans of the last two films will not be frustrated: the dynamics of confusion proposed by the identity exchange between characters with the same appearance still happen and render scenes as fun as in its predecessors. Now with the movie two’s antagonists joining the good guys, a sense of team is created for the greater good, which allows events to take a different turn and, consequently, even more satisfying for the audience.

The Princess and the Commoner 3 closes with affection and brings that traditional Christmas message. There’s a lot of romance, but with Fiona’s arc of redemption drawing to a close, director Michael Rohl gives scope to deliver a reflection on family, exploring the layers of the character and his relationship with his cousin Margaret. Although longer than its predecessor, the new film happens in a more fluid and lighter way, as Christmas has to be.

The Princess and the Plebeian: The Villains Love Too is available at Netflix.

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