An Honest Recap Of ‘The Princess Switch’

It’s officially after Thanksgiving, which means that, like it or not, Christian or not, we are now in full-on Christmas mode. So I decided I would lean into the holiday spirit this year and watch one of the hundreds of Christmas movies Netflix has pumped out this holiday season. There were so many to choose from, but I decided to go with The Princess Switch. Why? Because I wanted to see what Vanessa Hudgens has been up to, and I always find it funny when actors play their own twins in movies, as if we don’t have eyes. So without further ado, let’s get into my honest and not-at-all-salty The Princess Switch recap.

The movie opens in Chicago (I thought it was New York, tbh, but later found out the entire movie—including the Chicago scenes—was actually filmed in Romania), and we see Vanessa Hudgens working at a bakery, that she presumably owns. Isn’t she a little young? Meh, whatever. Vanssa has a hot sous chef, and I didn’t realize bakeries had sous chefs, so I’ve already learned two things less than one and a half minutes into this movie. An hour and 41 minutes well spent.

Hot Sous Chef has a daughter (zaddy), and Vanessa is her godmother. There’s apparently some big Christmas baking show in a place called Belgravia (is that like, the sister country to Genovia?) that Vanessa Hudgens has been wanting to enter in forever, but never did, presumably because she never thought she was good enough, or never had enough time. Just Christmas movie things! For once, I’d like to see the lead in a Christmas movie have high self-esteem and enjoy hoeing.

However, back to this baking contest. Now, this is not any cookie making contest. This is a ROYAL baking contest, with a formal invitation and everything. Enclosed with the invitation is a photo of a hot prince. You don’t need to have eyes to see where this is going.

Vanessa is like “We can’t close the bakery right before Christmas!” and Hot Sous Chef is like “B*tch you haven’t done sh*t since your last boyfriend dumped you, it’s time to live a little.” This will be a recurring theme throughout the movie.

Vanessa exits the store and gives what appears to be a Salvation Army man some money, at which point they have an entire conversation about how she wishes she had someone to spend Christmas with (thirstyyyy). He says “Christmas wishes have been known to come true.” And that’s how I know some fantastical sh*t is going down in this movie—I don’t even talk to my own therapist this intimately. This girl opened up about her innermost thoughts to a random dude collecting charity money? K.

Vanessa then runs right into her ex, some dude named Paul. Right as he says he’s been thinking about her (lie), some girl comes up, makes out with him on the street, and they do the whole “Who are you?” “I’m Stacey [Vanessa], I’m sure Paul has mentioned me” thing. The gf is like:

I Don't Know Her

Way harsh, Paul.

Vanessa basically decides to go to Belgravia out of spite, just to one-up Paul and his new gf, who are meeting Paul’s parents over Christmas. Honestly, I can relate. Why do I get the feeling that in the entire fictional 3 years Vanessa and Paul dated, she never got to meet his parents? It’s possible I’m just projecting my past traumas here. But I could be right.

She arrives in what’s basically Santa’s Village with Hot Sous Chef and his daughter, and who do you know is there? Salvation Army guy! He explains there’s a royal wedding about to happen. And here I am, watching movies to escape royal wedding bullsh*t. I will never escape Meghan Markle, even in fictional kingdoms. This is my life now.

Salvation Army guy says to Vanessa, totally out of context, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” He’s now the second person to use this cliche so far in this movie. Oh boy, I sense a moral coming on.

Okay so at the place where the contest is being held, some redhead named Brianna Michael comes up to Vanessa, and we learn 3 things: 1) she’s a b*tch. 2) she’s Vanessa’s mortal enemy. 3) she probably slept her way through cooking school. Is slut-shaming really in the Christmas spirit? Brianna purposefully spills some sh*t on Vanessa, because she’s in third grade presumably, and when Vanessa goes to clean up, she literally bumps right into….

HER TWIN. Aka Lady Margaret Delacourt, one half of the couple getting married during the aforementioned royal wedding. For someone claiming to be from a fictional land called “Montenaro”, she’s speaking with a weird British accent. Vanessa Hudgens is no Lindsay Lohan, I’ll say that. But seriously, it’s like Vanessa Hudgens studied Lindsay Lohan’s British accent as her barometer for what constitutes a good British accent.

Lady Delacourt asks Stacey (I can’t keep using Vanessa because now there are two) for her help with her wedding cake. Sure, totally normal to ask of someone you’ve known for 10 seconds. Don’t you have royal bakers for this??

Stacey runs off, and Hot Sous Chef’s kid is all, “I wish you and Stacey were dating.” Hot Sous Chef is all, “nah, she’s just a friend.”

Sure Jan

Okay so this wedding cake meeting is actually a ruse. Lady Delacourt doesn’t need help with her cake, but what she does want is to switch places with Stacey for two days. So this is really a Parent Trap/Lizzie McGuire situation. What could go wrong? Umm, the baking contest for one?? Ugh, these two are gonna “switch back at midnight” the night before the competition. Why do you have to go all Cinderella with this sh*t? Why can’t you just switch at like, 5pm, like work shifts?

British Vanessa: So you’ll do it?
American Vanessa: Well, why not? Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans!

F*cking kill me with this sh*t.

So now we’re treated to a makeover and royal lesson montage. Let me just say, British Vanessa is no Julie Andrews, and whoever gave her this sh*tty lob is no Paolo.

While all this is happening, there’s some random red headed lady creepily watching in the corner. Is she like, an aide? TBD.

The Prince or whoever shows up, so the real British Vanessa hides behind a couch. It goes about as well as you’d expect. Honestly this whole movie is a lot of “don’t look over there while I dramatically gesture and keep glancing in the exact place I don’t want you to look!” 

Real British Vanessa sets off to sight-see with Hot Sous Chef and his daughter, while Fake British Vanessa goes off to attend meetings. Gotta say, this feels like the worst trade deal in history, possibly ever.

Okay so the redheaded aide has basically been looking after The Duchess since she was a child. She seems weirdly invested in this plan, though. Like, why are you so down with a random woman impersonating your boss for a few days? Am I alone in this?

Once alone, American Vanessa immediately goes to the Duchess’s closet to try on her fancy hats, as ya do. The Prince shows up and quotes The Little Prince, you know that book you read in middle school French class? And American Vanessa acts like he just wrote her a personalized poem. It’s a very famous book! That’s not impressive! Also, there are way better quotes from The Little Prince! I would know—I almost got one tattooed on me, before realizing my dad is disappointed me enough as it is already and I didn’t need to add another reason. Moving on.

Vanessa shows up to breakfast with the King and Queen in the same outfit as the day before. Aren’t there some royal rules about this? And…surprise!!! The Prince canceled his meeting with Spain to spend more time with his fiancée. This means they’re going horseback riding ($10 say American Vanessa has never ridden a horse). Meanwhile, King What’s His Name has noticed the Duchess has been acting weird and tells one of his butlers or someone, who just looks evil, to keep an eye on her. Dramaaaa!

Drama

The horseback riding, predictably, goes horribly. The Prince at one point wipes something away from Vanessa’s eye, and she practically jumps his bones right then and there. I mean, like, damn I haven’t had sex in 357 days, but even I wouldn’t orgasm at a guy wiping away an eyelash. Then Vanessa decides to go all Women’s March on the Prince when he suggests she plan their wedding instead of getting involved in international politics. Like, number one, isn’t the wedding in a week? What’s left to plan? Number two, should you really be like, f*cking up international relations when you’re supposed to be out of the picture a day from now? I’m all for women getting involved in politics, but this does not seem like the time or place.

British Vanessa, Hot Sous Chef, and the daughter go to paint ornaments or some sh*t, when Salvation Army dude walks up to be like, “Hey, Hot Sous Chef, you should date Vanessa.” Sounding like my dad on Thanksgiving. Mind your own business, old man!

Back at the palace, the Prince apologizes to Vanessa for being an ass. He’s like, “you’re gonna be my wife, if you have political opinions I want to know them.” And just like that, we brought about gender equality! Good work, everybody. Let’s pack it in.

No seriously, can we pack it in? I’m already regretting committing to this movie. It’s why I don’t usually watch movies—I have commitment issues.

Vanessa and the prince go to some charity ball, and this hoe is SMITTEN. Like, what? You don’t even know this dude! Don’t go all Meghan Markle on me and give up your whole life and career for a dude you don’t even know. That’s not what Christmas is about!

Immediately upon arriving at the charity ball, Vanessa grills the King and Queen about the details of the homeless shelter this charity is supposedly for. SMH, she has no manners. But also, the King and Queen being like “we don’t concern ourselves with the details of the charities we donate to” is very #richpeoplethings. In retaliation, the king and queen are like “Hey aren’t you an awesome piano player? Go play something for us!” LOL and that’s why you don’t shade the king and queen. The Prince bails her ass out and they do a duet, and everybody claps and nobody notices he just had to teach her how to play two chords. TWO.

The Prince goes looking for the Duchess, and who does he run into? Salvation Army man and his meddling ass, telling him they make a good couple. The Prince finds Vanessa in the gazebo, where they proceed to dance. Christ, it’s like they took the most cliche part of every existing holiday movie and just shoddily sewed it together.

I’ve just been alerted that Hot Sous Chef’s name is Kevin, and he is a hottie WITH. A. BODY. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to be stalking his Instagram and sliding into his DMs. His name is Nick Sagar and his handle is @nickdsagar. That is my charitable contribution for the year. You’re welcome.

Oprah Shrug

I’m skipping a lot in the middle because it’s just dumb sh*t. American Vanessa (while pretending to be British Vanessa) gets way too excited to bake cookies for some orphans, and this is apparently a huge royal scandal. You’re not supposed to actually care about the peasants, you’re only supposed to pretend to care! Then she and Real British Vanessa almost run into each other at a toy store. They narrowly miss each other because British Vanessa pretends to drop an earring, and the redheaded aide fakes the worst fainting spell I’ve ever seen.

Legit worse than this:

it takes two

Ugh, now the orphans are singing “We Wish You A Merry Christmas”. Jesus Christ. Everyone is acting so shocked that the Duchess would dare give a sh*t about some poor orphans she doesn’t know, calling it “undignified”. Like damn, how savage is the royal family normally that you can’t bother to care about CHILDREN?

For the second time this movie, the Prince and Duchess are standing under mistletoe. I think the best part about this is how someone always has to point it out. They’re like “excuse me, I don’t mean to bother you, but you’re standing under the mistletoe.” Like this is some national f*cking emergency and not a made-up Christmas tradition.

Kevin’s daughter says to the real Duchess, “I wish you could stay.” Damn, that’s cold! Stacey’s known you your whole life, she’s your GODMOTHER, and you’re just gonna sell her out like that? Smh, these kids ain’t loyal.

While Fake American Vanessa and Kevin watch A Christmas Prince (lol nice job Netflix, I see what you did there), the Prince gives the other Vanessa his family crest. It’s supposed to be meaningful or whatever; to me it kind of reads like when Pete Davidson gave Ariana Grande his dad’s pendant. Meanwhile, Kevin gives his Vanessa a picture of him, his daughter, Vanessa, and Santa in a locket. Kevin puts the necklace on her and SHOOTS HIS SHOT. He confesses his love to Vanessa, and oh god, this is going to get messy when the real Vanessa comes back and isn’t into him at all.

So both Vanessas meet up to make the switch back, and they both gush about their respective dudes. Okay but really, how in love with someone can you be after three days?? I know this is a movie and all, but come tf on. I can’t with this. Y’all can just go back to your lives as normal and find other dudes to date because YOU DO NOT FALL PERMANENTLY IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE AFTER TWO DAYS!! This isn’t How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. Actually, lol, it’s worse.

Also are we not gonna talk about how Vanessa and Kevin’s kid legit ripped off the handshake from The Parent Trap? Plagiarism!

Oh yeah while all this is going on, creepy butler dude took a few pictures of both Vanessas together and then tries to bring it to the king to like, blackmail them I guess.

So when the real Duchess gets back, she’s hemming and hawing about having to go back to her old royal life and she’s like “ugh I don’t wanna marry this guy but it’s my duty.” The redheaded aid gives her that sh*tty crest thing that legit has rhinestones all over it.

Aid: What does it say?
Duchess: Honor. Nobility. Loyalty. (Or whatever the f*ck.)
Aid: But notice how it doesn’t say duty? See what I did there??

OHhHHH snap, y’all are idiots. What’s your long-term plan? Having this b*tch fake an accent for the REST OF HER LIFE?

Meanwhile the baking competition started, and this sh*t ain’t no Great British Baking Show, I’ll just say that much.

So the queen finds out about our Parent Trap situation and sets Margaret tf up. She’s like “Hey Margaret, why don’t you go to the baking competition where your twin will definitely be?” The Queen is a messy b*tch who lives for drama, and I am HERE FOR IT.

At the baking competition, Brianna (the evil redhead, not the aide) has cut Stacey’s mixing line, meaning she has to do all the mixing by hand. And suddenly, we’re in an episode of Cutthroat Kitchen in this b*tch. Also like, wtf is up with the security in this so-called “royal” baking competition? Like nobody noticed that this girl’s station has been sabotaged? Can she not get another mixer? I’m sorry, I’m going to need Noel and Sandi to come out and explain the parameters of this contest before moving forward.

Also, you’re putting a raspberry filling in your holiday cake? RASPBERRY?? Paul and Prue would not be down with this. That’s not a holiday flavor. You’re not gonna give me like, gingerbread? Nutmeg? Allspice? What is this???

In any case, Brianna comes in second place, and our girl Stacey obviously wins, inappropriate filling or not. And here we go, the Prince and Duchess are going to present the award. Uh oh. Here we go. All of Belgravia is shooketh, and Kevin does the worst surprise face I’ve ever seen. But he’s pretty, so I’ll allow it.

Nobody else is concerned, and somehow it’s chill for them all to go backstage to be like “lol ya we switched places, isn’t it funny?”

Margaret is like “but, there’s more”.

Me: SHE’S PREGNANT!

Lol sadly no, Margaret is like “we should actually switch places permanently.” And wtf, how is Kevin gonna legit swap out the girl he’s been in love with for his whole life for her lookalike? He’s no Drake, Drake said if his girl had a twin he would still choose her. THESE HOES AIN’T LOYAL!!!!

This is legit such trash. All the dudes were like “lol k, sounds good.” FINALLY real American Vanessa has the common sense to be like “yeah I can’t just f*ck up three people’s lives because we had a good kiss the other night.”

Me: 

Michael Scott Thank You

Oh and here we have this b*tch being like “loving me isn’t according to plan”. Ok so who’s gonna be the one to say “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”? Do I say it??? What a missed opportunity. Stacey is like to the prince, “I’ve loved you more than I’ve loved anyone my whole life.” Wow, how does Paul, her ex of THREE YEARS, factor into this? Nobody is f*cking loyal in this movie.

L-O-FREAKIN-LLLL the prince gets down on one knee to…. Ask Stacey if she would marry him in a year if she still loves him. What kind of Jonas Brother promise ring B.S. is this? And everyone in the crowd is like “lol, amazing!” and breaks into applause. But like, what? Y’all haven’t even been briefed on the situation. Even snotty redhead is begrudgingly clapping. I guess it’s the power of true love??

Cut to, presumably the next year at Christmas, where Edward (that is the Prince’s name, took me all movie to get it right) and Stacey are married. Kevin and Margaret are still together. A random little girl (I think she was one of the orphans, how tf did she score a coveted wedding invite?) runs up to be like, “you’re a real princess now, aren’t you?” and Stacey is like “I guess Christmas wishes do come true.” I’ve got to ask, what is it about Christmas in particular that supposedly makes wishes come true? Does this work for other holidays? Can I be making Passover wishes? Just asking.

Stacey throws the bouquet, and I don’t even need to tell y’all who caught it. You don’t need to be psychic to figure it out. Goodbye. I’m f*ckin out of here. Kevin, call me.

After Kevin is like “hold onto that bouquet, you might need it on New Year’s” (hasn’t anyone told him not to basically propose at someone else’s wedding??) there’s a montage of everyone giving each other the thumbs up (why?), and American Vanessa Hudgens giggling crazily at her prince.

Andddd that’s it! Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. Let me know if you want a recap of other Christmas movies, or other movies in general, and I’ll try to get over my commitment issues. Happy holidays!

Images: Netflix; Giphy (6)

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