Anne Hathaway (from TV’s Get Real
) stars as Mia, a gangly, frizzy-haired 15-year-old Ugly Duckling of sorts who is confronted with news that she is heir to the throne of a Monte Carlo-like country named Genovia. Her grandmother (Julie Andrews adding the proper spoonful of emotional sugar to a physically starchy character) personally delivers the news and then choreographs the young lady’s royalty lessons and makeover (contact lenses and straightened, styled hair for that presto-you’re-now-attractive look). Director Gary Marshall (Pretty Woman
) milks the San Francisco scenery for all it’s worth but is all thumbs when it comes to squeezing the full comic possibilities of the story as Mia’s rather normal life as high school co-ed turns into a media circus. Gina Wendkos adapted the script from Meg Cabot’s popular teen novel.