The Vanzina brothers’ Italo hit factory has struck pay dirt again with “Pretty Princess.” Locally, this soporific spin on “Roman Holiday” for brain-dead mall rats is riding high with an under-18 crowd starved for home-grown entertainment. Teens elsewhere should find it palatable as tube fare.
Despite a smattering of 1990s plot ingredients — Euro royalty scandals, womanizing tennis pros, the supermodel arena as an antidote to recessionary blues — and a soundtrack crowded with last summer’s dance hits, pic feels about as in sync with the times as a reissue of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.”
To rescue his near-bankrupt fairy-tale principality of Liechtenhaus, Prince Max (David Warner) tries to marry off his rebellious daughter Sofia (Claudia Schiffer look-alike model Barbara Snellenburg) to a neighboring kingdom’s cloddish heir (Adam Barker). But Sofia takes off for a Sardinian vacation village, where she falls for a hunky windsurf instructor (Raoul Bova).
Meanwhile, a royal louse (Paul Freeman), eager to sell the palace to American developers for a casino-cum-amusement park, orchestrates Sofia’s kidnapping, and the surfer takes the rap. Ending is pure happy-ever-after.
Snellenburg and Bova’s looks can’t compensate for their wooden presence and lack of chemistry. Susannah York as an earthy Anglo queen and Liz Smith as her boozy mother make a game stab at enlivening the torpid material. However, Warner sleepwalks through it, and Freeman’s villainy is indifferently insipid. Tech credits are par.