DVD Review: “Princess Protection Program”

Princess Protection Program (2009, Disney)
purchase from Amazon: DVD

When the DVD for Disney’s latest, Princess Protection Program arrived at the house, my daughter could hardly contain herself. The constant ads on the Disney Channel and the casting of TV stars Selena Gomez (Wizards of Waverly Place) and Demi Lovato (Sonny with a Chance) made it seem like this film was going to be a tweenage masterpiece, or at least something fun. On a Sunday morning while her mom and brother slept in, my daughter and I snuggled up on the couch and watched Princess Protection Program.

In the film, Lovato is a Princess Rosalinda, next in line to the throne of Costa Luna. When her country is overthrown by an evil dictator, she is put into the Princess Protection Program, a secret organization funded by royal families to protect their daughters. She is saved by Joe Mason (Tom Verica) an agent for the PPP, who takes her into hiding in his own home. His home is in rural Louisiana where he’s raising his teenage daughter, Carter (Gomez) on his own. That’s right, the Masons come from a long line of Disney families without a mother figure. That means that Carter is a tomboy and an outcast in her school. Still, she has one guy who really likes her, Ed (Nicholas Braun), but Carter is too blind to see how much Ed, her best friend likes him, because she has a thing for Donny (Robert Adamson), a rich snob.

Rosalinda enters the Mason home and takes up the name Rosie, in hopes to be seen as a normal teenager. But, since she is royalty, she has been written as a stiff lipped, proper speaking aristocrat. This is supposed to set up jokes about the differences in classes, but you’ll find yourself saying, “Man, I’ve seen this a thousand times before, and better.” As the film progresses, Rosie and Carter become close friends and go to the school dance together. Eventually Carter realizes how great Ed is and how much of a jerk Donny is and Rosie is able to turn the tomboy Carter into a princess herself (all through the magic of a shopping montage).

Honestly, I didn’t expect much. I’m no fan of Miss Gomez; I find her acting abilities limited. And Miss Lovato, while charming on her own sitcom, grates my nerves whenever she opens her mouth to sing. Still, I’m not who this movie is intended for, which is why I sat down with my daughter. As with any film or TV show I review for Dadnabbit, I do my best to get a reaction from the people these shows are aimed at. For the first time in as long as I can remember, my daughter and I agreed on how bad a movie was. It wasn’t just the acting, or the writing that left plot holes as large as Demi Lovato’s smile. Not, it was that the whole package felt like it was thrown together for the sole purpose of capitalizing on the growing fame of these two young stars and their real-life friendship. Worse, the movie was boring, the worst crime you can commit with a 10-year-old girl. When your daughter starts asking questions about the logic of a movie or catching continuity errors, people, you screwed up.

Is there any reason to rush out and buy this DVD for your kids? No. Disney will rerun the movie for years to come and the bonus music video has already been playing on the Disney Channel. My suggestion if you really want a decent DVD is to buy the Hatching Pete/ Dadnapped release that came out earlier this year.

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