Title: The Princess Diaries
Released: 2001

Fix: princesses, rom-com, comedy, early-aughts nostalgia, feel-good
Platforms: Netflix


Source Material
Title: The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries #1)
Author: Meg Cabot
Published: 2000
Series: The Princess Diaries

Netflix Summary:

The life of gawky social outcast Mia Thermopolis changes drastically after learning that she’s the heir to a tiny European principality’s throne.

FYA Summary:

Mia Thermopolis is an awkward teen with (IMHO) great hair, who is content living her life as a total nerd with her equally nerdy BFF. She lives in a baller old firehouse with her artist mom, and yeah, okay, she’d really be into it if popular hottie Josh Bryant wanted to make out with her on the regs, but otherwise, she has very few complaints. That is, until a European queen shows up and is like “SURPRISE I’M YOUR GRANDMA” and Mia is thrown against her will into princess-hood. Princess-dom? Princess-ary? She gets a makeover. She becomes the target of popular-kid bullying (something she’d managed to avoid up until now). Everyone seems to want something from her, which is stressful enough in and of itself. Add this to the fact that Mia has to decide if she’s willing to give up her San Francisco life to move to Genovia and RULE?! Yeah, okay, Mia’s got problems.

Familiar Faces:

Princess Diaries star Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway as Mia Thermopolis

Anne won our hearts with this role, it was truly her breakout role, and some of us *ahem* have stayed loyal through the years because of it.

Julie Andrews in the Princess Diaries

Julie Andrews as Queen Clarisse Renaldi

Obviously the most perfect queen to ever be cast and also queen of our hearts.

Hector Elizondo in Princess Diaries

Hector Elizondo as Joe

You probably remember him as the tough but caring hotel concierge who taught Julia Roberts which one was the salad fork in Pretty Woman, and his role in this movie is basically the same. He’s a tough but caring chauffeur who reminds Mia that she’s worthwhile.

Heather Matarazzo as Lilly

Heather is spot on as Mia’s social activist best friend, but some people think she was actually a crappy friend….and I can’t disagree.

Mandy Moore as Lana

Was this the first time Mandy Moore tried her hand at acting outside of music videos? If not, it was VERY CLOSE and I can assure you she has gotten much better at this stuff since playing the rich, mean girl here.

Robert Schwartzman as Michael Moscovitz

Okay, so he may not actually be a familiar face, because this and a quick stint in The Virgin Suicides is about all that Robert has for a filmography. But he is Hollywood royalty, as the brother to Jason Schwartzman, son of Talia Shire, nephew to Francis Ford Coppola, and cousin of Sophia Coppola and Nicholas Cage. Also, and possibly more importantly, he’s the lead singer of the band Rooney, who 16-year-old-Rosemary was VERY into.

Erik von Detten as Josh Bryant

Still skating on his Brink fame (lol get it), Eric von Detten’s Josh is the star of all of Mia’s kissing fantasies (he was the star of mine too at the time), and plays the dumb popular jock with aplomb. His acting credits are slim, but you might recognize his voice as that of Sid from the Toy Story movies.

Sandra Oh as Principal Gupta

This movie actually predates Grey’s Anatomy, which is INSANE because it feels like Grey’s premiered sometime during the Clinton administration, so I had no idea who Sandra was in the movie first came out. Yet she was so good in this role, I remember thinking “Look! It’s Vice Principal Gupta!” the first time I saw her in Grey’s.

Couch-Sharing Capability: Ladies in Waiting

You will 100% need to call up your besties for this one. If they’re anything like me, they’ve caught parts of it on cable a few times a year for the last 5-10 years and would appreciate a full rewatch.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Afternoon Tea

No drunkeness needed here, just pure innocent fun. So whip up some scones and Earl Grey and sip with a pinkie up – make Julie Andrews proud, girl!

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Nostalgic Princess Fix

Man, kids don’t know how good they’ve got it with their fancy streaming platforms these days. When I was 16 and this movie came out in theatres, I had to drive my beat-up Mercury Cougar ALL THE WAY to the nearest movie theater which was 25 miles away. And my best friend and I got in line to buy tickets and in front of us was a group of four year olds squealing in excitement to see The Princess Diaries, and behind us was a group of super hot dudes talking about going to see The Fast and The Furious, and at the last minute my best friend and I got embarassed in front of the hot guys so we asked for tickets to Legally Blonde instead and I had to wait two whole weeks to save up the money to go see The Princess Diaries again. Anyway, long story short, this movie will make you feel like you’re 16 again and I think we all need to feel that way sometimes.

Rosemary lives in Little Rock, AR with her husband and cocker spaniel. At 16, she plucked a copy of Sloppy Firsts off the "New Releases" shelf and hasn't stopped reading YA since. She is a brand designer who loves tiki drinks, her mid-century modern house, and obsessive Google mapping.