A Prince for Christmas full movie review - "Timing is everything, babe."
Lovely, if entirely predictable, TV movie about a prince (Kirk Barker) from a small European country who comes to America to escape an arranged marriage to a woman he doesn't love.
While there he meets and falls in love with a young woman (Viva Bianca) struggling to keep her diner open and take care of her younger sister after their parents were killed in a car accident.
Viva Bianca is just wonderful. I have seen her in a number of things but this is the first time I've seen her playing such a sensitive and "nice" character, and she does a remarkable job. A lot of times with made-for-television movies, the actors will phone it in and just show up to read their lines and collect their pay. But here you can tell she actually takes care with the part and tries to breathe some life and personality into what could easily be a cardboard role (and has been in similar movies I've seen). Her American accent is also superb in this. I've heard her use one before but this time it seems softer than her normal tone and there aren't as many of the usual 'tells' you get when some actors of other nationalities attempt to use an American accent. Again, she's putting an effort forth here that you can't help but appreciate given how lazy other actors can be with these things. For his part, Kirk Barker is good as the male lead. He's a little stiff but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that much of that is intentional for the part, as I haven't seen him in anything before this. He and Viva don't exactly have sizzling chemistry but they manage to sell the romance well. Kelly LeBrock, Maxwell Caulfield, and Mark Lindsay Chapman are all fine in supporting parts. A little cheesy at times (especially LeBrock) but fine. Aaron O'Connell plays Viva's douchey ex. He makes for a fun villain. This same year saw him play the good guy in another Christmas TV movie alongside Katrina Law (another Spartacus alum like Viva). For a guy who's probably only cast for his looks, he does an admirable job. The highlight of the supporting players is Brittany Beery as the sister of our heroine. She's full of life and charm and just brightens up every scene that she's in. She and Viva share a great rapport that makes it easier to buy them as sisters.
As I said before, the movie's very predictable and routine. But, then again, most TV movies are. What makes this one work is a nice cast, led by the lovely Viva Bianca in an enchanting turn, and some beautiful western New York scenery. If you enjoy movies of this type, you'll likely enjoy this one. Directed and co-written by Fred Olen Ray, of Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers and Bad Girls from Mars fame. Wait, what?