Another year and yet another The Princess Switch movie, officially called The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star. How is this even possible? It seems like a whole lot of people love delightfully kitschy Christmas movies that are unapologetically ridiculous. The third installment in the franchise is not for those who didn't enjoy the previous films. However, a slight change up with the narrative's leading lady might be what you need to jump on board The Princess Switch train. The premise is as ridiculous as the trilogy’s conceit, but due to Vanessa Hudgens' herculean efforts, The Princess Switch 3 will be a hit with fans.


After committing what is probably an international crime twice, Queen Margaret and Princess Stacy (both played by Vanessa Hudgens) — and their most recent doppelgänger Lady Fiona (also Hudgens) — are back at it with another scheme that involves trading places. This time the inexplicable clones come together to solve a different international crime, the theft of a sacred relic, The Star of Peace, which was lent to Stacy and Margaret by the Vatican for the upcoming Christmas festival in Montenaro. 

Related: The Princess Switch 2 Cameos Create A Netflix Christmas Movie Universe Plot Hole

the princess switch 3 review
Vanessa Hudgens in The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star

The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star is just as ornate as its two predecessors. There is a seemingly endless supply of Christmas decorations and trinkets and plenty of holiday cheer to spare. It is almost comical just how much Christmas matters to these fake nations and their respective rulers, but this is the world this narrative inhabits and screenwriter Robin Bernheim Burger relishes in it. It's not surprising that Burger wrote A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (another staple in Netflix’s catalogue) and Hallmark’s When The Heart Calls. The sincerity is overflowing, overwhelming even. It’s like drowning in hot chocolate smothered in whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

The sugary sweetness of Margaret and Stacy, as well Hudgens’ Fiona, might not be for everyone. Hudgens is having plenty of fun in a role that is distractingly similar to Emma Stone’s Cruella. The comparison is suitable based on Fiona’s salty personality, her styling, an unfortunate interaction with a dog and a hard-to-place British accent. However, there is no more romancing for Stacy and Margaret as they are now happily married; they've solved their issues in the previous sequels. This time Fiona takes center stage on the romance front, rekindling her relationship with former Interpol agent Peter Maxwell (played by the very handsome Remy Hii). Hudgens can manifest chemistry with just about anyone it seems, and as she carries three roles and the entire trilogy on her shoulders, she also manages to give her best performance yet as the romantic lead in The Princess Switch 3. The film is also infinitely more engaging with Fiona taking center stage on the story front as well, as the theft plot plays into her persona. The story is still very much about Christmas and a life lesson or two, but with a far more engaging lead that lends itself to more interesting interactions and situations.

the princess switch 3 review
Remy Hii and Vanessa Hudgens in The Princess Switch 3

The core reason to enjoy The Princess Switch 3 is Hudgens' commitment to the bit of playing three characters. These films are not cinematic masterpieces and are barely competent and put together. Although much of this film can cause one to roll their eyes, one cannot miss how good Hudgens is. Stacy, Margaret, and Fiona have distinct personalities, mannerisms and ways of speaking. She highlights these distinctions further when the clones play each other. There is an effort to create characters and Hudgens is acting her heart out.

Hudgens is so good she manages to distract from the less than interesting ensemble cast, including Stacy’s husband Edward (played by Sam Palladio), who is strangely CGI’d into most of his scenes. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast can't quite reach her level. Only Remy Hii is worth mentioning as he is clearly meant for more and better. While many flock to The Princess Switch films for the comfort of the Christmas cheer, and the formulaic story, the thing that will keep folks returning to this particular franchise is Hudgens, and the numerous doppelgängers she gets to play. No matter how ridiculous the plot, and no matter how super Christmas-y these films get, Hudgens will remain the steadfast north star.

Next: The Princess Switch 3 Trailer: Fiona Returns To Help Pull Off A Heist

The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star is available to stream on Netflix as of November 18, 2021. The film is 106 minutes long and is rated TV-PG.

Our Rating:

4 out of 5 (Excellent)
Key Release Dates
  • The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star (2021)Release date: Nov 18, 2021
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