Chicago baker Stacy, her royal doppelgänger, Margaret, and Margaret’s identical cousin, Fiona, all played by Vanessa Hudgens, are back for a third installment of Netflix’s The Princess Switch series—a not great, not terrible take on The Princess and the Pauper with the production values of a Disney Channel Original Movie. And you know what? It’s fine.
The first movie hit its mark and quickly moved on, showcasing a few cute moments and causing massive Twitter chatter. The big innovation of the second movie—Switched Again—was, of course, that Hudgens played a third character. For the third film, titled The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star, I suppose they could have added a fourth lookalike. Instead, all three Hudgenses join forces to pull off an Oceans-style heist to retrieve a precious heirloom, the Star of Peace, which is on loan from the Vatican and was stolen by a Generic Evil Collector. Technical shortcomings aside, if you liked the first two Princess Switch movies, you’ll enjoy this one.
Our main two couples stay together, which I appreciate. No need to invent tension once you’ve found your One True Love, right? The butler from the first two movies is back, as are Reggie and Mindy, Fiona’s sidekicks, and they’re highlights here.
Stacy and Margaret each wear several cute Christmas outfits, and I have to admit: A candy cane martini, if there is such a thing, sounds delicious. Like many fairy tales, Romancing the Star presents an unbelievable story but takes place in a world I’d happily visit. Schemes! Japes! It’s the kind of country that not only has a functional monarchy but also a legal system that commutes prison sentences into community service served at…what looks like the nunnery from The Sound of Music. Cute!
With Margaret and Stacy both coupled up and happy, the only one who needs to learn a lesson is Fiona, and she’s very much the star—no pun intended—of Romancing the Star. Having been somewhat humbled after being caught attempting a coup in Switched Again, she’s now focused on parties and boys and reconnecting with her former lover slash childhood best friend from boarding school (where she was raised because her rich mom neglected her). Did you catch that convenient backstory and opportunity for closure? I’ll repeat it: We find out that Fiona is the way she is because her role model, her mom, was a narcissist who basically abandoned her.