Now that I’ve entered the world of the Netflix Christmas Cinematic Universe, there’s no point extracting meaning from narrative paucity. If you watched this lady switch with herself once, and you want to watch her switch with herself again (and again, and again), then you’ve signed on to get what you get, and may Hathor have mercy on your soul.
What you get here is a playful extrapolation of the original concept. Literally, it’s like someone sat in a room with some other guy and said, “The numbers on this lady switching were good. Let’s see how many switches we can do before we reach diminishing returns on viewership.”
Within the rigid framework of putting many Vanessa Hudgens into a single room and finding excuses to pretend they are flip-flopping between one another’s lives, there is plenty of silly fun to be had, but not a lot of development for characters who seem important.
Somehow none of Vanessa Hudgens personalities feel like realized humans. They are all Vanessa Hudgens doing a voice with a costume change. The Third Personality for Hudgens is my favorite because she’s a Disney villain who basically asks to escape a prison sentence on account of being “cuzzies” with the queen.
Meanwhile, our Baker has been married to King Edward since the end of movie 1, yet I hardly know the guy. In both outings, he mostly shows up to look earnest and perform the trope where a commoner helps make a king better by connecting him to his people. I can’t tell if the Daddy Friend hero is better developed or if I just find him a lot more attractive. I do appreciate every opportunity TPS:SA gives me to look at him.
The fact that a whole regent abduction plot can be played so lightly seems entirely appropriate given the givens.
Like maybe the problem with the first movie was that it didn’t go far enough. This movie is going, and going, and going. Maybe the executives stopped caring once an appropriate level of Switches were met. “How many switches? And it’s a good ninety minutes long? Send it to the website!”
Image credit: Netflix