Stay Tuned
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Thursday, July 02, 2009

"Princess Protection Program" DVD Review: Release Your Inner Princess

I think you guys know I’m a real sucker for a cute tween movie. But I just wasn’t expecting “Princess Protection Program” to be one.

I couldn’t have been more wrong…

“Princess Protection Program,” the newest Disney Channel original movie, features Disney’s newest stars, Demi Lovato (“Camp Rock,” “Sunny With a Chance”) and Selena Gomez (“The Wizards of Waverly Place”).

Gomez is Carter Mason, a high school student who helps her father run a bait shop in Louisiana. She’s hopelessly in love with one of the most popular guys in school, but of course, there are mean girls standing in her way. There’s also the matter of her father, Joe (Tom Verica), being a secret agent in the international Princess Protection Program.

The PPP rescues princesses who are in peril and transforms them into normal young women until the time they can return to their countries. Joe’s latest rescue is Rosalinda Marie Montoya Fiore (Lovato), the future queen of the tiny country of Costa Luna. When Rosalinda’s country is taken over by a dictator, she flees into the protection of the PPP. But since Joe is the only person she trusts, Joe is forced to bring Rosalinda home to live with him and Carter.

Of course, the girls instantly clash since “Rosie” is still expecting everyone to treat her like a princess—much the same way the mean girls treat Carter. But as their time together continues, the two girls discover they’re much more alike than either of them thought as Carter teaches Rosie to be a normal teenager and Rosie helps Carter find her inner princess. The friendship culminates with the Homecoming Dance where Carter risks her own safety to save her new friend.

It must be hard for someone as adorable as Lovato to play someone as un-adorable as Rosalinda starts out to be. But Lovato does it beautifully. And her real-life BFF Gomez is a perfect foil, as well as friend. Plus, the always solid Verica is perfectly cast as the movie’s adult figure.

The supporting characters—especially the mean girls and the general—are a tad on the clichéd side, but they’re all necessary to teach the movie’s lesson: Whenever we need it, there is an inner princess inside all of us.

But the most important thing to note about “Protection” is that while it’s teaching us that lesson, it’s also entertaining us with an actual plot that actually makes sense—something that doesn’t always occur in tween movies.

The movie’s ending leaves the door open for a sequel that would take our girls in a fun new direction. I just hope that Lovato and Gomez can find the time in their busy schedules to take us there…

The DVD features a behind-the-scenes look at BFFs Gomez and Lovato on set with their co-stars, an interview with a real-life princess and a super cute music video for “One and the Same,” a Lovato-Gomez duet from the movie’s soundtrack.

The “Princess Protection Program Royal B.F.F. Extended Edition” DVD is available now.

Photo Credit: Copyright Disney. All Rights Reserved