Well, friends, here we are. Fate has brought us together to celebrate saccharine Christmas absurdity with not two, but three Vanessa Hudgens. There are so many holiday movies to bring us ridiculously implausible cheer, but how many of those other movies have dopplegangers, royalty, dreamy hunks, mistaken-identity kidnappings, and secret angel-ghost-Santas? Maybe seven? Eight? Ten at the most, if we’re only counting this year.
Back in 2018 (about seventeen years ago), The Princess Switch managed to become a Netflix darling by following every single holiday movie trope, and asking the world the question, “What if there were two Vanessa Hudgens?” The world responded with a resounding, “oh, okay,” and a hit was born. (If you have never had a crush on Vanessa Hudgens, you either don’t have a functional TV/laptop/brain, or you’re lying.)
But what could possibly happen in a sequel, you ask? Stacy “but I’m just a baker from Chicago” De Novo was married to Dreamy Prince Edward, and Margaret “let’s be spontaneous” Of Montenaro was off to Chicago to live the simple life with Stacy’s best friend, Hunky Kevin.
The perfect happy ending, right? EXCEPT, there are more hijinks to be hijinked! Margaret assassinated her cousin or something, and now SHE’S the Queen of Made-up-enaro! And Stacy is cheating on Prince Edward with a charity or whatever. Oh, and there’s ANOTHER inexplicable doppelganger!
This was mostly explained in a lil’ recap at the start of the movie. Honestly though, they should have just referred you to my photo-recap of the first movie, because they left out the part about Mrs. Donatelli being an ex-super-spy and Margaret’s secret mom (I would die for her).
The movie opened with an instant callback to the original, with Stacy announcing the winners of the baking competition which had won her both a medal (?) and the heart of a dreamy prince. But I guess baking was just a hobby or something, because this was the one and only mention of her skills for the rest of the movie.
Dreamboat Prince was horny as effffffff, but Stacy was too busy being the best darn princess that ever princessed, so she was wholly uninterested. She was, however, VERY interested in giving an exposition dump that rivaled ‘previously on’ recaps at the start of CW shows. She told Edward (us) that Margaret and Kevin are being total bummers, and she feels responsible, as their best friend and possible clone. (If the inevitable third movie doesn’t have a storyline about Mrs. Donatelli cloning her secret daughter using alien tech, then I don’t even know what Netflix is doing anymore.)
So off Stacy went to Chicago, sans her dreamboat prince, to convince her sad-sack bestie to hop a plane and chase after his one true love (who accidentally manipulated him into having feelings for her based on his longtime friendship with the woman she was impersonating).
Kevin said yes (shocked face?) so they left the responsibility of running the bakery to- hahaha, j/k, j/k, they did not even mention who would be minding his independent business while he was away. Oh, and they made him get a makeover, because no one wants to see their ex with a (gasp) slightly longer beard!
Mrs. Donatelli lights up my life, you guys. LIGHTS UP MY LIFE. Anyway, after Kevin and Margaret’s painfully awkward reunion, they all went inside to check out Margaret’s total dump of a castle. You see, she didn’t decorate for Christmas or unpack or dust or even attempt to chase away the family of muskrats living in her boudoir.
The Royal Rabble was NOT about to let Margaret live in a rodent infested cheerless garbage heap of a palace, so they took the afternoon for a quick cleaning and decorating montage. It’s possible Mrs. Donatelli called in some favours with her old ninja associates, and THEY sneakily decorated the palace to professional standard while our Royal Rabble played with tinsel and made eyes at each other, because there is simply no way seven spoiled rich people did THAT in an afternoon.
Everyone conspired to get Margaret and Kevin alone together to make some hot chocolate, which obviously led to a shenanigan. Since they had already fulfilled their quota of snowball fights in the first movie, the sequel had to get creative about what white substance to playfully throw at each other, and I assume cocaine just seemed a bit too real in the writers room.
Okay, so this walking dental chart was very obviously shady from the start. First, he got all up in Margaret’s royal business, then he put very obvious moves on her. Good luck, chump, her heart to belongs to a baker from Chicago.
The clones had a heart to heart about what man Margaret should focus her efforts on (*sigh*), and she just plum didn’t know!
Then there was a ball (obviously), and Kevin and Margaret had a great talk about what good friends they are and shall continue to be (LOL), while dancing like they were king and queen of the prom.
Say hello to Fiona, Margaret’s cousin and the third Vanessa Hudgens. Why Margaret didn’t tell Stacy that they have yet another doppelganger was explained with a throwaway, “there is a bit of resemblance”. So I guess she’s meant to just sort of look like them? Hahahahaha, you guys, it’s all so amazingly absurd.
Anyway, she blew all her money on leopard print hats or something, so her and her nefarious minions were pickpocketing rich people at parties. Delightful.
Cheshire Cat came up with a ruse to stop Margaret’s date with Kevin because he knew, (as we all know), that royalty simply cannot resist a baker from Chicago. So he proposed to her! Or, he proposed that they perhaps think about maybe starting a relationship that is slightly beyond platonic, maybe. Because, AND I QUOTE, “You’ve also become the queen of my heart.” Haaaaaaaaahahahahaahahha I can’t, you guys.
This walking smile emoji pulled the ol’ ‘a relationship with you would hurt the person you love’ trick found in every villain’s playbook. Fortunately Kevin’s daughter Olivia is a ninja gremlin (probably trained by Mrs. Donatelli), who overheard and got to scheming.
Mrs. Donatelli’s emotional overinvestment in all things hijinx-related lights my heart aflame, you guys. AFLAME.
They hatched a scheme where the clones would orchestrate another switch (roll credits) so that Margaret could spend some quality time with her hunky baker from Chicago. This of course meant that Stacy would have to impersonate a royal (again), and implicate herself in treason (again). Oh, and they didn’t tell Edward any of this for REASONS. Instead, she used their brief moment of privacy to straight-up lie to his face about why she couldn’t spend any time with him.
What was the scene about? I don’t now. Honestly. I was so distracted by Vanessa Hudgens turning into Michelle Pfiffer circa 1992 that I lost my ability to form conscious thought. I think maybe she was getting info on where Margaret would be? Edward gave it up immediately, but in his defense, it was very public knowledge that Cat-Clone-Woman could have easily googled.
After a fun switch montage where they all donned each other’s signature style and practiced their catchphrases, it was time for some antics.
Edward, believing Stacy to be Margaret, earnestly asked for advice about his failing marriage. He had some serious doubts about himself as a husband, considering his wife would rather make out with a to-do list than spend any time with him. But whoopsie, this beautifully vulnerable moment of trust between friends was a conversation of DECEIT that Stacy guiltily lied her way through instead of just quietly telling him the truth. Merry Christmas!
You guys, I’m worried about Olivia. First she lied to Edward about Stacy being sick, then she manipulated him into taking her shopping to get him out of the way for their subterfuge, THEN she played on his insecurities in order to continue the ruse. She told him he’s a helicopter husband, and he was like, “oh no oh no oh no, this has triggered a crushing emotional crisis,” and Olivia was like, “I love it when a plan comes together.” You guys, is… is Olivia a legit sociopath?
Okay, so Margaret and Kevin are still in love (*shocked*), and they confessed while both continually turning and dramatically walking away from each other. It was a pretty cute workout for them, I guess. Get those steps!
Meanwhile, Catwoman Clone’s plan was to attack Margaret in a bathroom and kidnap her for just enough time to be crowned queen herself, steal a bunch of royal money, then flee before she could be beheaded for high treason. Just your average Christmas movie hijinx!
Stacy-Margaret was drugged into submission (!!!) dragged to the back of a car, then dumped in a dank cellar as her captors ignored her terrified and frenzied screams of despair. Hahahaha, Merry Christmas!!
Margaret returned from her romantic workout with Kevin to find “Stacy” refusing to stop impersonating her. Fiona leaned in so hard, and, in a ballsy move deserving of Catwoman, continued to pretend to be Margaret… TO MARGARET. Hahahha, it’s all just so absurd I can’t help but respect it.
This made me very anxious (I hate imposter storylines on shows that ruin friendships!), but I needn’t have worried because Margaret immediately knew what was up, and informed Dreamboat Prince of their deception, and subsequent clone infestation.
Ah, Kevin, you poor hapless dumb-dumb from Chicago. Fiona-Margaret, fearing to be found out, broke up with him and sent him and his sociopath daughter packing. Then she and her minions decided to move up the coronation so she could complete her evil doings and then vamoose.
This walking molar very easily figured out that Margaret was Fiona, and offered to help her in exchange for some dolla dolla bills. Which was… shocking? We trusted him so much?
Stacy made a daring escape that included rolling barrels over a minion. It was awesome, and I LOVE that she saved herself, but we need to address the real tragedy of this situation…
I’m sorry but that sandwich looks DELICIOUS, and now it is nothing but a pile of bread and fixings on the floor of a dank cellar. What is that, texas toast? With huge chunks of cheddar cheese? And we don’t know what other treasures lay beneath that generous serving of ham. I will never get over the fact that no one got to eat that sandwich.
Anyway, the prince, desperately wanting something to do in this rescue-mission-turned-taxi-service, punched a dude, and then they smooched. He and Stacy, not the dude he punched. That’s a different movie altogether (I would watch it).
The Royal Rabble barged in to put a stop to the coronation and were all, “THIS is the real queen,” and Cheshire Cat was like, “um… nuh uh?” but it turned out the minions spilled the beans, so the jig was up.
Fiona was all, “I did it because I’m saaaaaad, let’s be besties?” and for a second I thought Margaret was going to drop all charges or some such holiday nonsense, but nope, she just promised a reduced sentence and an extra shiv or something.
But wait! Kevin was still on his way outta their lives, believing he was brutally broken up with!
Ghost Angel Santa!! Remember this guy? From the first movie? He’s some kind of entity who is way too invested in the romantic lives of a bunch of clones. Anyway, he was the driver, so you can BET they were going to miss their fligh- oh no wait, nevermind, they made it to the airport just fine, so this had zero bearing on the plot. Haha, well, good to see you anyway, Ghost Angel Santa!
But never fear, because the ENTIRE Royal Rabble chased after Kevin into the airport. They very very easily found him and Olivia, and the misunderstanding was cleared up immediately. Then they decided to GET MARRIED in an AIRPORT by a very frazzled priest who clearly just wanted to get his snack and get on the plane and take his sleeping pills.
You guys, these absolute menaces took FOREVER to spit out their vows. Quit bothering priests in airports, you brats! He needed to catch his flight! This wasn’t even official! There was no paperwork! Merry Christmas!
Oh, and Edward and Stacy’s marital troubles were tied up with a “I was so busy because I just wanted to be a good princess!” So. They’re fine.
And so Margaret was crowned Queen of Made-up-enaro, and she smooched her pretend husband in front of everyone, and it was a very happy ending. Awwwwww.
And that was… a thing that you watched! And me too. We all watched that! What a time to be alive.
- The second scene with Prince was him putting a shirt back on for no reason. I SEE YOU, MOVIE.
- Remember when Frank was an antagonist and now he’s an adorable lil’ sidekick? In this movie he was almost as ride or die as Mrs. Donatelli!
- Speaking of, Mrs. Donatelli is absolutely Margaret’s secret mom (you will not convince me otherwise). If the inevitable third movie, Switch3d 3D, doesn’t focus on her secret spy life, I swear to GOD.
- Should Edward be mad? Feels like Edward should be mad.
- Margaret says “Nothing has ever been more true,” a lot. About abstract things. That aren’t facts. And even if they are facts, like… yeah, I think it’s probably as true as many other facts, you hyperbolic minx.
- Okay, “Dear me, it’s empty,” was legit funny when she pretended to think the oven was the fridge. Margaret is very charming!
- Also legitimately very funny: Fiona showing up at the palace to deliver a ‘gift for the orphans’ that was obviously just a roll of toilet paper.
- Fiona firing Mrs. Donatelli made my blood boil with WHITE HOT RAGE.
- Justice for the delicious sandwich.
- You guys, Stacy-as-Margaret was FLOORED by balloons falling at the concert. Simply floored.
- I see you, couple from A Royal Prince whose names I can’t be bothered to look up. Netflix gotta Netflix.
- Margaret dealt with Tooths McGrins by telling the guards to “take him to the dungeons.” Hahaha, I love me an extra bish.
- Mrs. Donatelli was very glam this movie, and you know I loved it.
- Look, I need everyone to know that the collective noun for a group of butterflies is a rabble, and if you’re kind enough stretch this reference for me, you remember that MONARCH butterflies exist. Thank you for your patience with my weird word play, it’s been a long year.
- When running for her life, Stacy’s best defense was to scoop up some snow, form it into a decent snowball, and throw it at her assailant. I guess she forgot that by Christmas Movie Law, she now has to fall in love with him. Have a great life with the incompetent thieving minion, STACY.
- Okay, when Margaret confessed her undying love to Kevin in an airport, and then they smooched, why did EVERYONE AROUND THEM START CLAPPING? Like, quit gawking, you creeps, this isn’t Shakespeare in the park!
- Kevin’s bakery in Chicago… boarded up? Seized by the bank? Taken over by goblins?
- So, do you guys want a third movie, and if so, how many government officials do you think Mrs. Donatelli has assassinated, and which ones will they show in flashbacks?
OKAY I’M DONE THANK YOU FOR COMING HAPPY HOLIDAYS, STAY SAFE OUT THERE, FRIENDS.