The life of gawky social outcast Mia Thermopolis changes drastically after learning that she’s the heir to a tiny European principality’s throne.
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.
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 as Queen Clarisse Renaldi
Obviously the most perfect queen to ever be cast and also queen of our hearts.
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.