‘The Princess Switch’ offers light-hearted escape during cold winter months

As we all prepare for annual winter hibernation, Netflix is often a staple for a night in. On these nights, I reach for the lighthearted feel-good movies, wanting a good escape. “The Princess Switch,” while corny at times, has provided just that.

The story follows ordinary Chicago baker Stacy De Novo and duchess Lady Margaret, (both played by Vanessa Hudgens). Upon receiving an invite to bake in the land of Belgravia for their annual holiday baking competition, De Novo stumbles upon heir to the Belgravian throne, Lady Margaret. After noticing their uncanny appearance, the duchess requests that they trade lives for two short days, allowing her to experience life as a normal girl before marrying into power in the coming weeks. (See the trailer here)

As the two characters explore each other’s completely different lives,both girls fall in love; Lady Margaret with De Novo’s long time friend and assistant Kevin (played by Nick Sagar), and De Novo with Lady Margaret’s fiance Prince Edward (played by Sam Palladio). Both love interests are cast extremely well as their characters. Sagar exemplifies the perfect “boy next door” quality while Palladio carries himself in a regal way fit for the prince he was portraying.

The best part about this movie is watching the characters learn more about themselves as people when they act like someone else. As a sucker for cliches and romance, I was instantly attracted to the cheesy switch-a-roo romance.

The plot and execution of this movie was extremely corny, giving it a childlike Disney quality. While to me, this is the perfect way to relax, others may not enjoy the childish plot points and unrealistic aspects. If you are looking for a more mature film, this is not the place to find it.

However, I do think the movie has wide appeal. There were a few moments where more adult humor was used, and the lessons learned by the main characters about love and acceptance are important for all ages. Producer Brad Krevoy did a wonderful job incorporating influential themes throughout, without making them feel like they were shoved in the viewer’s face.

If you are looking for a hard hitting film, this movie probably isn’t the one for you. But if you are looking for a cheerful holiday movie filled with the occasional laugh to watch as you snuggle during the colder months, this is the one for you. Rating: ⅘ stars.