Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and welcome to my The Princess Switch: Switched Again recap. Now, when I had initially set out to do this recap, I had some pretty lofty goals. “I’ll have to watch Princess Switch again,” I told myself. Then I downgraded to, “ok, I’ll at least re-read my own recap.” And then, that became, “well surely, they’ll have a ‘what you missed on Princess Switch 1…’ montage at the beginning of the sequel, right?” In the end, laziness won out and I decided to write this recap going off my memory of the first movie, which includes bits and pieces of things like Chicago, a baking contest, a little old elf man who provided wisdom along the way, a hot friend named Kevin (who, for the record, can still get it), Vanessa Hudgens as Vanessa Hudgens, Vanessa Hudgens’ horrible foreign accent, and a fictional country named Montenaro. Did I get everything? No? I don’t care.
Well, I’m excited for the sequel because now we don’t have two Vanessa Hudgens, but three, and as a triplet myself I feel that it’s my responsibility to ensure our accurate portrayal in the media.
Picture it: the year is… two years after the original movie was set. The king of Montenaro has died, meaning that Margaret is now next in line for the throne, which has royally f*cked up her dating life.
We open back up where we last left off, at Belgravia’s 59th annual baking competition. Stacy is tasked with announcing the winner, who is someone named Zach from Munich that we’re supposed to remember was in the first movie. The only other baker I remember was that bitchy redhead. Anyone else?
Back at the castle, Prince Edward and Stacy are a little strained because Edward is too busy running around and running a country, and Stacy is busy… giving out ribbons and halfhearted speeches about the power of Christmas.
Ok so Kevin and Margaret BROKE UP?? All that buildup for nothing! Kevin seems to be really done with Margaret, too, because he turned down the invitation to Margaret’s coronation (which is happening on Christmas, for no reason other than the fact that it has to give this plot a connection to Christmas, however tenuous).
Prince Edward: Well he turned down the invite, so there ya go.
Stacy: Men never know what they want.
I mean, she’s not wrong.
Stacy has a brilliant idea: to go to Chicago on the way to Montenaro. Now, my knowledge of geography of fictional European-esque countries is admittedly spotty, but I have a feeling Chicago is not on the way. If we had a Genovia-like country in the middle of the Midwest this entire time, I think I would have heard about it!
In Chitown, Zaddy Kevin is supposed to look dumpy since his breakup (Stacy makes a comment, “you look…comfortable”) but I’m not buying it. His beard is fuller, his skin is clear, sure, he’s wearing a hoodie and a backwards hat, but he can (say it with me now) still get it.
Stacy: You’re wearing sweatpants, you won’t date, and you’re collecting cats.
It’s called BEING IN QUARANTINE, ok Stacy? Sheesh, have a little understanding.
Stacy gives him the invite to the coronation like, “two years ago, you gave me an invitation that changed my life. Now it’s time for me to return the favor.”
Kevin says he and Margaret broke up because they “just didn’t want the same things anymore.” Stacy convinces him to go to the coronation as a friend.
Ugh, Margaret is back, and her accent is as horrible as ever. I feel like Vanessa Hudgens studied Lindsay Lohan’s accent in The Parent Trap for this role.
Inside the palace, all the furniture is covered with sheets. This is a bit of a snafu because Margaret’s supposed to be throwing a Christmas ball in this very palace. Margaret is saying how the palace doesn’t feel like home. Did she not grow up there? HOW does this country’s line of succession work?? We went from King to the King’s brother to… nobody else was available in between so they just picked a random Duchess? Why this Duchess?
Our first musical montage break comes in the form of the old pals agreeing to help Margaret decorate the palace for Christmas. Half a song later and with no outside assistance from staff, the palace is fully decked out.
Kevin and Margaret are tasked with baking something (weird because one of the other people with that same face is a professional baker), and a flour fight ensues. They are interrupted by Antonio, Margaret’s hot Chief of Staff who definitely has the hots for her. He tears her away to review the coronation practices or whatever “over a cup of tea”, which I feel like is code. I sense a battle of the braun!
Stacy catches onto this too, because she takes it upon herself to cockblock the sh*t out of Antonio and also wingwoman Kevin. She goes to Margaret like, “you know who’s looking fine lately? Kevin.” AGREE.
This gave me vibes of:
Margaret is like, “Nah but that’s over with, we’re done. Why, did he ask about me? What did he say?” I mean, who among us hasn’t claimed to be over an ex while still pumping our mutual friends for info over whether they were over us?
I will say, the dresses at this ball are amazing.
Stacy and Edward push Kevin to ask Margaret to dance, but he almost gets beaten to the punch by Antonio, the slick bastard, whose bowtie is almost as wide as his shoulders. What a buffoon.
My man Kevin is pulling out all the moves, asking Margaret to “go for a drive” “as friends.”
Stacy: What could possibly come between two people who look at each other that way?
Oh, glad you asked, because in waltzes badass blonde British(?) Vanessa Hudgens, who acts like one of the demons who came out of the Bad Place with Adam Scott to terrorize Eleanor and Chidi. If this Amazon wig comes between Margaret and Kevin, then Kev wasn’t as amazing as I thought he was.
Turns out Bad Margaret has a name, that name is Fiona, and Fiona is Marg’s cousin. She’s the duchess of some other fake country called Pembroke. Fiona used the word “cuzzy” in earnest, so I immediately hate this woman. She really is evil.
The funny thing is Bad Margaret is like, “you and Stacy look like twins, that’s so weird,” completely ignoring that she too looks exactly like them. Reminds me of the scene in Parent Trap where Hallie and Annie are like “hmm I guess we look kind of alike except your nose is too big”, when we’re all like, YOU HAVE THE SAME F*CKING FACE.
demons friends basically set out to pickpocket everyone to pay for their summer in Capri, including stealing Kevin’s wallet. This doesn’t appear to ever be relevant again, so I wonder why they bothered at all. After, they gather to pool their spoils like Janet Snakehole and Burt Macklin after spending two hours stealing from people at the Snakehole Lounge. One of the demons pulls out a roll of toilet paper, insisting it’s double-ply, and let me tell you, back in March, one of those babies could’ve paid for a year in Mykonos.
Just as Margaret and Kevin are supposed to set off on their drive, f*cking Antonio rolls up like, “we have an urgent matter for you to tend to. The matter happens to be in my pants.”
Sure enough, Margaret is like, “I thought this was urgent?” And Antonio is like, “it is urgent. You’ve urgently become the queen of my heart” and gives her a necklace. This f*ck. This corny f*ck.
Margaret is like, “ehh, I’m not sure” and Antonio is like, “why, because of that Kevin guy? I could fight him. Should I fight him? Everyone says we’d make a good couple.” (Please note, I know this is not the exact dialogue. I think mine is better, to be frank.)
I’m gonna go ahead and say now that having your best friend who has feelings for you serve as your chief of staff seems like a massive conflict of interest and liability. But what do I know!
Antonio calls Kevin in to be like, “you’re not being fair to Lady Margaret, and you’re holding her back.” I’m now predicting Antonio ends up with Fiona. But Kevin is a G, and he’s not falling for this sh*t at all. He’s like, “if that’s how she felt she’d tell me herself.” BOOOOOOM.
Kevin’s daughter knows the prospect of getting Kevin and Margaret together is bleak, so she proposes Stacy and Margaret switch again so they can finally spend some alone time together without pesky things like ~her royal duties as soon-to-be queen~ getting in the way. Kevin is in on the plan, and they’re keeping Edward in the dark. This seems like an unnecessary liability for their relationship, which we already know is in a rough patch, but ok.
Over in the Bad Place, the demons are doing karaoke (seriously, they just ripped that one scene from The Good Place except they’re singing actual songs, not Nixon’s concession speech). Fiona gets the bright idea that she’s going to pretend to be Margaret long enough to be crowned queen and transfer some money over to an offshore bank account. I mean, as far as evil plans go, this one is not that bad.
Purple Haired Demon realizes a problem with this plan: Princess Margaret will obviously not go along with any of this. So that means they have to kidnap her and tie her up somewhere for a few days. Anddd this Disney movie just turned dark. Damn, Netflix, didn’t think you had it in you!
If I were Margaret and my cousin was calling me “cuzzy” and “Maggy Moo” I would order her execution immediately, just saying.
Poor Edward is being treated like such a rube, with Olivia canceling on him last minute on behalf of Stacy, who suddenly “developed a headache.” Justice for Edward, he doesn’t deserve to be left in the dark like this. Just how do you think this conversation is going to go after this whole scheme is over? “Honey, I know we’re married and supposed to trust each other, but I just needed to keep my identity theft on a need-to-know basis, and you just didn’t make the cut. Yes, an 11-year-old made the cut.” Rough.
Stacy and Margaret make each other over, and over in the Bad Place, Fiona’s minion is dying her wig dark brown, which I think is hilarious because they didn’t bother to cut it before applying the dye. A waste of time and hair dye, just saying!
With the switch in effect, Edward goes to “Margaret” (who is actually Stacy) to ask for advice about Stacy. Edward is like, “things have been weird between us because she’s always busy, and I’m basically making up sh*t to do to stay occupied while she’s busy.” I’m sorry, but one of these people is a PRINCE. And he doesn’t have sh*t to do?? “Margaret”’s sage advice? “Everything will be all right, I promise.” Well, glad we got that cleared up!
Liv distracts Edward by making him take her Christmas shopping. She tells him he’s a “helicopter person” who hovers too much. Sheesh, all I’ve seen from him in this movie so far is simple attentiveness.
And here I thought this Christmas Concert that they keep talking about was going to have like, Adele perform, from the way they hyped it up. No, it’s like a high school orchestra.
Margaret and Kevin’s date in a Christmas market is going ok, they make snowmen and use them as metaphors for their love life.
Margaret: They say love conquers all, but it’s not so straightforward, is it?
Wow. Deep thoughts, Marg. I don’t think anyone has ever taken this phrase literally. Like, with this level of intelligence this woman is going to send an Instagram couple to wage a war, and be like, “what, I thought love conquers all!” Nobody tell her that they say love is a battlefield. Or that love is all you need.
So Kevin’s whole thing boils down to: he wants to “be spontaneous”. Eye roll, spoken like a true man. Just say you want to be able to cheat. He doesn’t want to do the whole royal thing, and Margaret is obviously not going to pass up her one shot to be Queen.
Kevin says he doesn’t want to hold Margaret back, and he says that maybe she’s better off with Antonio.
Margaret: Don’t you see? None of that matters. You’re the one I love, not Tony. You don’t need to be a count or a king. You just need to be… you.
I love people who write movie dialogue, because I’ve been on this Earth for nearly three decades and not once uttered the phrase, “Don’t you see?” unless I was on standing in front of someone waving while they continued to spin around in circles looking for me.
Ok so the theme here is spontaneity, because Kevin goes, “maybe the spontaneous thing to do would be to give us a chance.” And not going to lie, his whole reason for ending things with Margaret in the first place is completely at odds with his so-called goal of spontaneity, because all he wanted was to live a quiet life as a baker. You know what would actually be spontaneous? Picking up and moving to a foreign country.
Back at the palace, the demons’ plans is in full effect, with Mindy (the purple-haired one) spilling a drink on Stacy (who they think is Margaret) so she can get her to the bathroom, where Fiona KNOCKS HER OUT WITH A CHOLOROFORM RAG and they drag her through an alley into a waiting car. Okay, we just went from zero to Criminal Minds episode real quick.
Oh, so this is fun. Fiona doesn’t know they switched places, so they grabbed the wrong Margaret. Margaret confesses that she and Kevin are in love again.
Ok I’m actually confused with this bit where Fiona (pretending to be Margaret, to Margaret) is like, “well what about Edward? I won’t let you cheat on him”. And Real Margaret like, buys it? This disregards the fact that even though Margaret is currently dressed up as Stacy, she is still very much Margaret. I’m super confused so I’ll just leave this here:
Fake Margaret insists “Stacy” (Real Margaret) leave, so she does. I’m confused, does Fiona not know that the person she’s talking to is actually Margaret? Because she just figured out they switched places. So… why is she thinking she can get away with ordering her around? And why does it work? YOU’RE THE ACTUAL QUEEN.
Realizing her two cronies kidnapped the wrong Margaret, they come up with a new plan: move up the coronation so they can transfer the money and GTFO faster. Again, not terrible.
Stacy goes to Edward immediately like, “there’s something I need to tell you”, but he’s like, “me first” and apologizes for helicoptering. But ok, did you not notice that she said that with her Montenaro accent? Ok, he did notice (though not as quickly as I did)—and here is where, like I said, their decision to keep Edward in the dark comes back to bite them in the ass.
At that moment, Mrs. Donatelli storms in to say she’s been fired. And now we have a real pickle on our hands, because we have two Lady Margarets and no way to tell who’s who. If only we could test them by having them recite the Krabby Patty secret recipe.
Kevin comes in to talk to Fiona who is posing as Margaret, and she tells Kevin and Olivia to go home. Kevin is like, “do you really mean it? Because if you do, I’m not coming back. Ever.”
Meanwhile Stacy is still locked in the basement, but these idiots didn’t realize that she has window access.
Kevin and Olivia pack it up, but who’s the cab driver taking them to the airport? THE ELF MAN FROM PRINCESS SWITCH 1!!! Thank god, all hope isn’t lost!
It’s actually hilarious that Prince Edward, Margaret, and Mrs. Donatelli have to go full Da Vinci Code to figure out who’s upstairs pretending to be Margaret when it’s like… WHO ELSE HAS YOUR SAME EXACT FACE?? That’s your answer! The pool of potential suspects cannot be that big!
So Antonio has some redeeming qualities, because he immediately notices that “Margaret” is actually Fiona. This dumbass has a tattoo on her pinky, but Antonio is like, “you should take greater care to cover it up.” Don’t tell her, because then that’s exactly what she’ll do! You idiot.
Ohhhh I see why he did that now, because Antonio gives her two options: give him a piece of the money, or he’ll expose her. I knew these two would end up together.
Damn, this movie has turned into a true crime movie, with Antonio talking about setting up fake charities and shell companies to deposit money into.
Stacy executes a scheme to bust out of the basement, and OH MY GOD THIS GIRL IS SO SLOW RACING UP STAIRS! I know they’re going for dramatic effect and suspense, but a tourist in Times Square could beat this bitch at the speed she’s going.
But she escapes, and Prince Edward delivers a one-two punch that knocks Reggie out. Prince Edward, more like Prince Ali, amirite?
Stacy and Edward make up because nothing gets the romance juices flowing like a K.O. jab.
Sidenote: I love that everyone in this movie pronounces schedule like “shed-yule” to prove they are, in fact, royal.
The coronation is underway, and this bitch Fiona is already f*cking it up because she can’t remember her own names. This isn’t like Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi, these names are just Margaret Katherine Claire. That should be easy to remember long enough to parrot back! You don’t even deserve the throne.
Just as she finally gets her name on the third try, in storms the real Margaret with Stacy. Fiona doesn’t even put up a fight or try for this. She really doesn’t deserve it.
Margaret, halfheartedly: Stop. Don’t.
Everyone else: …
Fiona: Oh ok, I confess. You got me.
Like, girl, what?! This is where you pull out your Hail Mary, some dramatic maneuver that still doesn’t work but at least has some flair! You’re really not cut out for a life of scamming if you give up so easily. Fiona does pin the scheme on Antonio, which is maybe the one good thing she’s done this whole movie.
Back in charge, Margaret commands the guards arrest Antonio and take him to the dungeon. Weird that in 2020 this castle has a dungeon that is in use.
LMAO @ Fiona being like, “well technically I didn’t kidnap Margaret, so am I really guilty?”
Stacy and Margaret:
Fiona: But it’s Christmas!
Right, I forgot Christmas is like The Purge, and there’s no such thing as crime. I’m going to remember to break all the laws on Christmas only.
LMAO even harder that Fiona decides to launch into a speech about how her parents never cared about her as much as they care about Margaret, and that she really just wants to be half as accomplished as her cousin. Flattery isn’t going to work here, sister!
Fiona’s like “I behaved abominably and I’m sorry. You’re the only family I truly have.” And Margaret is like, “Oh, ok, I guess I could ask the judge for a reduced sentence.” Seriously? That’s all it takes?! One half-assed apology? This fake country is a joke.
That only leaves one loose end: Kevin.
Kind Elf drops Kevin and Olivia off at the airport (that looks like a mall, not at all like an airport, FWIW). I thought he was supposed to help thwart their escape?? What is he even good for? They’re rushing to make their flight, Margaret is rushing to catch him before they get on the plane, you know the drill.
For a pretty complex scheme, Kevin seems to understand right away what happened. “Oh right, you switched places, your evil cousin Fiona tried to take your place, that was the Margaret who sent me away, not the one standing in front of me. Got it.” Sure, just another day in the life of this woman with the most common face in the world.
They’re both like “I can’t imagine my life without you” (vomit) and Margaret proposes to Kevin. Kevin’s like “LOL that’s so funny! I was gonna ask you last summer!”
They both say yes and kiss and the entire airport claps. And then I found $100!
Margaret spots a priest grabbing a cup of coffee in the terminal and is like, “why don’t we make this official right now?” Dude is trying to get home to see his family, not do work. Leave the man alone.
Continuing with the “spontaneity” theme, they decide to do this shotgun wedding and wing their vows. Ok I see what we’re doing here. A little bit beating me over the head with it, but I get it.
Ok what kind of whack-ass vows are these? “Dearest Kevin, I wish I could promise you the world, but the world’s not mine to give.” Ok but you’re the Queen of a WHOLE ENTIRE COUNTRY, that’s a lot more than most of us can promise to give. Feels like splitting hairs, honestly. Also Kevin’s whole problem was not wanting to be the figurehead of a whole country, so that seems like a moot point to bring up… but ok, you’re right, I’ve way overanalyzed these dumb vows.
The priest is like, “I don’t suppose you have a ring?” And Kevin is like, “It just so happens, I’ve been carrying around this ring that I bought last summer this whole time!” Some people can’t even hold onto their phones for that long.
And with that, the priest has to run to catch his flight. Like, you can’t charter this man a private jet as a thank-you? So ungrateful.
Anyway, it’s coronation time, and I gotta say, the Prime Minister has some nerve showing her face after she almost facilitated a fake coronation. But Margaret gets crowned, everyone is happy, hooray, the end.
And that’s all she wrote! Overall, this was a fun one, and I’m glad they didn’t drag it out any longer than it needed to be, but we really need villains with gumption for the third movie. If you’re just going to give up on your scheme after the first try, then don’t bother scheming at all. What a halfhearted villain. That said, I could see her going quietly into the night as a ruse, and the setup for Princess Switch 3. The only question will be how they would come up with a way to bring a fourth Margaret into the mix, and at what point they realize that having a ruler with an unknown number of body doubles could present a threat to national security.
Images: Courtesy of Netflix; Giphy