It’s difficult to keep track of all the cheesy, made-for-television holiday movies — but it helps if one of them goes viral.
Thanks to that creepy tweet from Netflix last year, reminding everyone that it’s watching and analyzing your viewing data, “A Christmas Prince” became something of an internet sensation.
The movie wasn’t good. Indeed, it was kind of terrible. But like all good TV movies, that made it more fun to watch.
Naturally, Netflix commissioned a sequel: “A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding,” which started streaming this month. Here’s everything you need to know:
1. Most of the main players are back: For those who can’t remember, the gist of the original “A Christmas Prince”: A frustrated New York journalist named Amber (Rose McIver) arrived in the lovely country of Aldovia, determined to get a scoop that would impress her editors and finally get her a promotion.
Amber was to report on Prince Richard (“His Royal Hotness,” played by Ben Lamb), who might abdicate after his father’s death and throw the country into chaos.
Amber was mistaken for Richard’s younger sister’s tutor, so she got the undercover scoop of a lifetime.
Naturally, she fell for Richard, and he was very hurt when he found out her true identity.
But then he forgave her. And Richard became king and proposed to Amber.
Anyway, nearly everyone has returned: Amber; Richard; Richard’s little sister, Emily; Richard’s mother, Queen Helena; Richard’s troublemaking cousin, Simon, etc. But Amber’s father has been recast — and outfitted with a much campier personality, playing up his Brooklyn roots and being an extremely embarrassing dad as Amber tries to impress the royals.
2. There’s no need to catch up on the first movie: Without giving all the “plot” details away, we can assure you that if you missed the first “A Christmas Prince,” you probably won’t have a difficult time catching up. The 90-minute sequel takes place a year after the last movie ended, as the palace is in a frenzy for Richard and Amber’s coming wedding on Christmas Day.
There are some dark subplots though. The country is in a financial crisis. Amber suddenly realizes that becoming a member of a royal family means your life belongs to them. Oh, and Princess Emily’s Christmas play is briefly in trouble.
3. There are some parallels to real-life royals: Amber has a few things in common with Meghan Markle, also an American marrying into a royal family. Similar to Markle, Amber has a blog, albeit with the uncreative title “Amber’s Blog.” A major theme in the movie is how all sorts of people are worrying about Amber breaking “protocol,” because she doesn’t want to lose her own identity.