Take this The Royal Treatment Quiz to find out which character you are. We update the quiz regularly and it’s the most accurate among the other quizzes.
When it comes to fairy tales, we’ve come a long way from the days when a handsome prince from a far-away land saved a beautiful, distressed damsel from a life of destitution. The fact that women can save themselves while also complementing the male arc is widely regarded as a triumph. The fact that Netflix is delivering progressive modernizations of these fantasies in their stable of holiday-themed titles has only slightly refashioned the traditional model of empty-calorie cinematic confections, according to the company. However, their off-season offerings have been limited — until now, that is, with Rick Jacobson’s “The Royal Treatment,” which takes expected genre trappings and infuses them with unexpected delights, resulting in an enlightening, enchanting, and entertaining feature-length documentary.
Izzy (Laura Marano), the owner of a successful beauty salon, has never met a head of hair or a troubled soul she hasn’t been able to touch and transform. Her Italian heart of gold keeps her world turning as she is a fixture in her Bronx neighborhood, delivering donuts and smiles in equal measure to friends and family. Despite the fact that she runs a successful business with her overbearing mother (Amanda Billing), grandmother (Elizabeth Hawthorne), and best friends Destiny (Chelsie Preston Crayford) and Lola (Grace Bentley-Tsibuah), she’s been dealing with a high-pressure offer to run the local community center, which will close if she doesn’t accept the position.
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Meanwhile, Thomas (Mena Massoud), prince of Lavonia (a fictionalized multicultural melting-pot kingdom that holds its own against Aldovia from “A Christmas Prince” and Genovia from “The Princess Diaries”) is in New York City for his engagement party, which takes place around the same time. A major life decision confronts him as well: whether to proceed with an arranged marriage with hotel heiress Lauren (Phoenix Connolly) in order to appease his parents or walk away from it. He finds himself in Izzy’s care for a much-needed haircut, and soon after, she and her friends find themselves in his care, being whisked away to his country to style everyone’s hair for the wedding of the century, which takes place in his backyard. Naturally, sparks begin to fly inadvertently, and the couple’s destinies become even more entangled as a result. Also, you must try to play The Royal Treatment quiz.
One of the most impressive aspects of the film is the deftness with which Jacobson and screenwriter Holly Hester construct clean-lined and cohesive character dilemmas. The stakes, both internal and external, are clearly defined and motivated. The weight of their disagreements is palpable, and the consequences are long-lasting. It is the filmmakers’ intention to give the material depth, rather than keeping the gloss and lighthearted shenanigans superficial or hollow. As a result, the filmmakers naturally incorporate commentary on injustice and gentrification into the film. Gandhi’s principle of being the change you wish to see in the world is subtly woven into the fabric of the film, evoking strong emotions in the audience. The fact that female characters such as Izzy and the bride-to-be are not catty or combative toward one another is also commendable. They get along well with one another and are actually complementary to one another. Jacobson also does an excellent job with the homage, which is appropriate considering this is a twist on the traditional rags-to-riches story. Despite the fact that “Pretty Woman” is a distant tonal influence, it also serves as inspiration for the finale’s fire-escape setting (which utilizes a pop number sung by lead Marano).
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Having said that, there is little to no subtext in the script. When it comes to the protagonists, we’re way ahead of them, not only before they go through character-building situations, but also before they state the obvious about their conundrums. The spoon-feeding may be at the behest of pre-tween audiences who are swooning along with their parents and other adults in the room.
However, there is no reason to doubt their ability to perform in a wide range of situations. “Seinfeld”-style musical stingers introduce Doug (Jay Simon), Izzy’s scummy assistant slumlord, who appears in only two scenes and comes across as out of place and overly broad. Mrs. Fabre, played by Sonia Gray, who has a heavy French accent and works alongside Thomas, is underdeveloped and given little attention. All of this is forgivable, of course; it’s just that it’s not as easily forgotten.