My top 7 royal wedding movies

26 Apr

As William & Cate’s big day approaches, I’m getting in the spirit by counting down my favorite royal wedding films.

Royal Wedding – Entirely obvious, but a definite must.  Fred Astaire and Jane Powell star in this entertaining little film about a brother/sister dance team sent to London to perform while the city begins its mad preparations for a royal wedding.  The madness spreads rapidly as Fred and Jane’s characters succumb to love themselves.  This film is especially famous for Fred’s tap dancing on the ceiling scene…the evolution of special effects.  Though my favorite scene is where Fred and Jane dance on the boat ride over.  A classic.

The Princess Bride – If I have to describe this one to you, you now know it should be the first thing you do after work today.  Action, adventure, romance — the only true flick I’ve ever met with that gets two thumbs up from both sexes.  Highlights include pirates, fencing, Billy Crystal, and Mandy Patinkin.  But prepare yourself, it is a ‘kissing book.’

The Princess Diaries – Yes, this is a Disney film.  But it’s not animated, so it’s not cheating.  It’s about an ugly duckling who is surprised with a throne in the middle of her most awkward teenage years.  I love it because it explores the ‘princess within,’ and quite frankly has some of the best and most thought-provoking dialogue of any teen flick I’ve ever seen.  So good I was inspired to write a Bible study about it once.  Do yourself a favor and watch the behind the scenes featurette on the DVD as well.  It’s hilarious.

Ever After – The ‘Batman Begins’ of the Cinderella story.  Offered as the true story behind the real glass slipper heirloom of a French royal.  Danielle de Barbarac is taunted as ‘Cinderella’ by her stepsister — a cruel nickname because as their servant she falls asleep in the hearth and wakes up covered in soot.  Danielle is courageous though foolhardy, and she pays dearly for being loved more by her father than her greedy stepmother was.  Throw in a handsome prince, a worried king, a wicked neighbor, a band of gypsies, and a famous artist, and what you get is a great adventure with a happy ending.  My kind of movie.

Roman Holiday – Starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.  A princess sets out to escape her duties for a day and finds more than she bargained for with a newspaper reporter in Italy.  Fun story.  Love to see Audrey wearing a crown.  But fair warning — and perhaps a good one to keep in mind for royal weddings in real life — there is no happy ending for this couple.

My Fair Lady – I’m including this because it’s a favorite with so many people I know.  But truth be told, I prefer ‘Pygmalion’ starring Dame Wendy Hiller.  It’s the original story, just less musical and color.  If you’ve already seen the musical remake ‘My Fair Lady,’ you should make it a goal this week to see the original ‘Pygmalion’ instead.

Anastasia – Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brynner are amazing actors, and this film is the proof.  It’s the heartbreaking and hopeful story of an opportunist who tries to capitalize on the hopes of finding alive the youngest daughter of the assassinated Russian royal family — the princess Anastasia.  He discovers a look-alike and trains her up for greedy intentions but in the end they all find themselves wondering who this woman really is.

I’d better get going so I can start watching.  Feel free to add your own royal wedding film favorites in the comments below.  Animated Disney flicks don’t count!

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