Review: Netflix’s ‘The Royal Treatment’ is a palace romance in search of a consistent tone

Review: Netflix’s ‘The Royal Treatment’ is a palace romance in search of a consistent tone
Amanda Billing as Valentina (still left), Laura Marano as Izzy, Grace Bentley-Tsibuah as Lola, Chelsie Preston Crayford as Future and Elizabeth Hawthorne as Nonna in “The Royal Procedure.” Photo: Kirsty Griffin / Netflix

“The Royal Procedure,” a commoner-satisfies-prince passionate comedy premiering Thursday, Jan. 20, on Netflix, wavers among also minimal and much too a lot fantasy, and concerning charming and simply odd.

The difficulty starts off with makes an attempt to floor the protagonist, hairstylist Izzy (Laura Marano, from Netflix’s “The Ideal Date”), in New York City grit. Her modest shop catches hearth each and every time the microwave and hair dryer are turned on at the exact same time, and her Italian American grandma serves up plates of pasta inches from in which hair sizzles on curling irons.

Leaning into this scripted shorthand for an “earthy” tone, Marano adopts a horrible “New Yawk” accent. Quite a few line readings carry the “off” high quality of dubbed dialogue, even while Marano is talking English in an English-language film.

This accent grates extra right after Izzy satisfies Prince Thomas (Mena Massoud, Aladdin from the 2019 stay-motion film), who, due to the fact of a circumstance of mistaken hair-salon id, turns into Izzy’s shopper. The two hit it off as mates because Izzy teases instead than reveres the prince, who in any other case is surrounded by of course-men and women. Thomas comes from the faraway, made-up land of Lavania but speaks unaccented English, additional highlighting Marano’s honk and generating us ponder why Marano required to try an accent at all.

The moment the movie moves to Lavania, immediately after Thomas invites Izzy and two of her stylists (Chelsie Preston Crayford and Grace Bentley-Tsibuah, both enjoyment reside wires) to do hair at his royal marriage, accents make a difference significantly less. This is partly mainly because Marano and Massoud are self-possessed, appealing actors who make their characters’ rising rapport believable and engaging. It’s also simply because disconcerting accents are just just one strange facet of Lavania, which appears like it was named for Tonya Harding’s mom but is normally culturally indistinct.

Laura Marano as Izzy and Mena Massoud as Prince Thomas of Lavania in “The Royal Cure.” Photograph: Kirsty Griffin / Netflix

In what may well be a nod to “Aladdin,” this motion picture positions Thomas as the opposite of the “street rat” who pretends to be a prince. Thomas has hardly ever established foot in the “bad” or “across the tracks” space of his kingdom, but last but not least pays a pay a visit to following his butler (a sly Cameron Rhodes) encourages him to accompany Izzy, who wants a break from the stuffy royal castle.

This intended slum appears to be like a thriving market wherever men and women thrust wheelbarrows while dressed as if poised to break into a standard people dance at any second. The neighborhood’s japanese European vibe does not match the villagers’ Kiwi accents (the movie was shot in New Zealand but seldom appears it), just as the Disneyland experience of the neighborhood does not match its billing as impoverished. We specify Disneyland listed here alternatively than Disney since the extras’ ebullient acting is park-level, not studio-degree.

Sparks fly amongst prince and stylist all through their night out, but reality intervenes again at the castle, in which a wealthy, tacky American few have promised their daughter, Lauren (a likable Phoenix Connolly), to marry Thomas in what is typically a relationship of monetary comfort.

Mena Massoud as Prince Thomas of Lavania and Laura Marano as Izzy in “The Royal Cure.” Photo: Kirsty Griffin / Netflix

For a movie centered on a probable romance with a prince, “Royal Treatment” can take a refreshingly contemporary technique to its youthful woman people. Lauren and Izzy, under no circumstances rivals, are open up and helpful toward each individual other. Lauren is not a climber like her moms and dads, but is, like Thomas, eager to marry a digital stranger out of obligation.

Izzy can see an opening but does not jump, since she is not in this article for romance. Emotion boxed in by her borough, she required to travel right before meeting Thomas but invested her cost savings fixing the burned store.

Izzy is far more of a do-gooder, who concerns about the kids from throughout the tracks in Lavania just after dreaming, back property, of supplying up her scissors to run the regional community heart.

And Thomas? He’s not just Princess Diana out dodging land mines in the field. Oblivious to the lives of his subjects just before meeting Izzy, he lacks a federal government function and stays beneath his father’s thumb. As Izzy and Thomas expand nearer, you figure out what a cipher Thomas is, enjoyment banter aside, and that he’s one extra motion picture prince who’s not good ample for the heroine.

L“The Royal Treatment”: Romantic comedy. Starring Laura Marano, Mena Massoud and Cameron Rhodes. (Tv-PG. 97 minutes.) Out there to stream on Netflix commencing Thursday, Jan. 20.