Friday, June 24, 2005

Denmark and beyond

So I was watching a film this morning--the result of forced "lady of leisure" status due to pregnancy complications--called "The Prince & Me" starring one of my absolute favorite actresses, Julia Stiles. It's a lightweight romance with a few bits of comedy thrown in for good measure. And while I loved Julia and Luke Mably , the hottie who plays HRH, the Crown Prince of Denmark, as a romantic-cum-realist, I have to take issue with the end of the film.

The premise is old as they come. Edvard, the aforementioned Prince, is emulating several other princes that we might be familiar with (e.g. Prince Harry)--living it up with fast cars, lots of women and no foreseeable goals for the future, other than avoiding Cabinet meetings at all costs. After seeing an ad for a "girls gone wild" video on tv, he decides to head to Wisconsin and check out life as a Midwesterner. His parents, of course, object, but send a servant, Soren, to accompany him.

Eddie, as he prefers to be called upon his arrival in the States, deals with American college life poorly at first, as can be expected. But then he meets the lovely Julia--um Paige--and she sprays his royal ass with soda water from the bar where she works. Wouldn't you like to do that to every drunk moron who's ever said something less than brilliant to you in a bar? To cut a long story short, they of course end up dating and falling in love. Paige is a pre-med student who allows Eddie to distract her from her studies, but only after finals, of course.

Eddie has to return to Denmark at semesters to begin fulfilling his royal duties, as his father is ailing. Paige, on a whim, decides to follow him there, and the film gives us the requisite "knight in metaphoric shining armor" scene where Eddie spots Paige and swoops her up on his horse, carrying her off to the castle, to the Queen's dismay. Pouty queen--for shame!

After living the life of a princess for a while, Paige decides she wants to return to her former, farm-girl life and pursue her medical school studies.

SPOILER ALERT! (just thought I'd warn you, like in all those fun Harry Potter fan sites)
Paige returns home and finishes her degree. After his coronation, Eddie returns to Wisconsin in time to see Paige graduate and to tell her that "if she wants to go to medical school and be a doctor, he will wait for her." He'll wait for her, apparently, as long as it takes for her to fulfill her own needs, until she is ready to be his queen.

So here's my issue. Why can't she have both? Why can't she move to Denmark, go to medical school there, and be the first practicing royal physician in the country's history?

While I love the flightly romanticism of the film and the escapism it allows me from the daily grind, I am a bit perturbed by the whole "having to give it up eventually" message that the story perpetrates for females. Yes, for sure, in any relationship you have to compromise. To think otherwise would be foolish and delusional. But I believe that the minute you start giving up the very fabric of your being--your dreams, your goals and the things that make life worth living--well, then you're sublimating yourself, and that's bad for any relationship.

I know, I know, I'm looking for depth in romantic comedy. I'm looking for a way to solve a problem I'm supposed to believe doesn't exist.

Maybe I need to construct a sequel in which Paige actually does those things, and she and Eddie figure out a way to make that happen.

If it means getting to work with Julia and the Mably guy, well, it can't be that bad, right?

1 comment:

Legion said...

Well to be perfectly honest I don't think ANYONE, male or female, can have it all. Life, as I grow older and wiser (note I didn't say WISE I just said WISE-ER; as in more wise than before) I realize that much of life is about compromise. I think the whole premise that you should be able to have it all is the 'REAL' fairy tale. When you make a choice in life it comes with compromise. Every choice you make shuts down a door somewhere even if it opens another.