The Curator of Schlock #253 by Jeff Shuster
Hallmark’s A Royal Christmas
One of these things is just like the other.
Earlier this year, I partook in the pop cultural sensation known as Crazy Rich Asians from director Jon M. Chu, a story about a commoner from the United States who falls in love with a supremely handsome and charming young man from another country who turns out to be a veritable prince and heir to a vast family fortune. I recently watched 2014’s A Royal Christmas from director Alex Zamm, a story about a commoner from the United States who falls in love with a supremely handsome and charming young man from another country who turns out to be a literal prince and heir to a vast family fortune. Yes, these two movies have the same plot, but one is about Christmas so that’s what we’re covering this week.
This is the second Lacey Chabert Christmas movie I’ve seen where Folger’s coffee could be prominently seen. I don’t want accuse the greeting card company that produced this of shameless product placement, but the first time we see the romantic lead, he’s holding a rather large Wal~Mart bag. Lacey Chabert plays Emily Taylor, the daughter of the town tailor who has dreams of becoming a fashion designer one day. I’m just going to point out that this is the second Hallmark Christmas movie where Lacey Chabert plays a struggling fashion designer.
Emily is seeing the dreamy Leo James (Stephen Hagan), a man who likes to eat pancakes and BLTs, but Mr. Leo James has a secret he’s been keeping from Emily. Mr. Leo James is actually Prince Leopold of Cordinia.
Now many of you may wonder why you’ve never heard of a country named Cordinia. I can answer that for you. Cordinia doesn’t exist. They made up a fake European country for the purposes of the plot. There’s nothing wrong with that. Granted, Crazy Rich Asians treated its audience to the wonders of opulent Singapore, a real country, but we shouldn’t fret over little details like whether or not a country actually exists or not. Leo reveals that he’s a prince to Emily and invites her to spend the holidays with him back home.
It’s in Cordinia that Emily meets Queen Isadora, played by none other than Jane Seymour.
We remember Jane Seymour. She was in that one Battlestar Galactica movie, Battlestar Galactica: The Movie. She was a Bond girl in Live and Let Die. She was also on season four of Smallville, the one where Lana Lang was possessed by the ghost of a dead witch. Ugh. What were they thinking? Clark Kent fights space aliens not witch covens. That season would have been a complete waste if not for the introduction of Erica Durance as Lois Lane, the greatest of all Lois Lanes. I’m talking about Smallville again, aren’t I?
Naturally, Queen Isadora doesn’t approve of her son’s choice in girlfriends. If only Prince Leopold could find another royal to marry instead of tailor’s daughter. She taunts Emily by serving a Cordinian favorite dish of jellied eels, but Emily eats them right up. The palace servants like Emily because she’s a commoner just like them and even Queen Isadora will change her ways and learn the true spirit of Christmas and allow her son to marry Emily. Blah. Blah. Blah. I think Torso is streaming on prime. Smell you later!
Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47, episode 102, episode 124, episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.