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The Princess Diaries Turns 20: Here Are 20 Thoughts I Had During a Rewatch

Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway attend the Princess Grace Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on November 1, 2011 in New York City.
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Meg Cabot hive, rise up! The Princess Diaries AKA one of the most criminally underrated coming-of-age movies of all time, turns 20 this month. (Don’t get me wrong, Lady Bird and Skate Kitchen are up there, but when people talk about coming-of-age movies TPD is never in the convo and it SHOULD be.)

See also: 25 toxic on-screen relationships we accidentally romanticize.

Anne Hathaway blew us all away in the 2001 classic — this was her first movie role! — and I’ve been waiting for a rich foreign grandma to show up and tell me that I’m royalty ever since. Here are 20 incredibly insightful and important thoughts I had while re-watching this cinematic masterpiece.

  1. It’s so nice to see a teenager playing a teenager! (*cough* Riverdale *cough*) One of the key things that really drives this entire movie is Hathaway’s performance. It’s endearing, charming and witty, but not too dramatic. Anne was only 18 when she stepped into Mia’s geeky shoes and it paid off because she was so good in this film that I think it’s safe to say it launched her career. Would she have an Oscar without TPD? I’d like to think not!
  2. I forgot how salty Mia’s neighbour Mr. Robotusen is. Though, he’s kind of a whole mood.
  3. You know what, I too would vomit if a bunch of mean rich teens in uniforms were laughing at me! Where is the empathy! (Lana AKA Mandy Moore, I’m looking at you!)
  4. “Me, a princess? Shut up!” is right up there with “Let them eat cake” in terms of famous lines uttered by royals. I love Julie Andrews and she must be protected at all costs but my GOD if a long-lost grandma showed up and told me I was a princess, I think I would simply pass away.
  5. Joe’s all-leather outfits have what all the TikTok girls want. They could never!
    @miadickers0nif u don’t have a leather jacket get one! U won’t regret it 😌 #fyp #styling #leatherjacket♬ wild thoughts x all the stars DJ Lilli – DJ Lilli

  6. LILLY THINKING MIA WOULD BE OVER HER FATHER’S DEATH IN TWO MONTHS?! I’M SORRY, WHAT?! It’s a good thing Mia is such a kind friend because I would have dropped Lilly so fast and never looked back, oh my GOD.
  7. One thing that saves this film from being corny is the fact that Michael is in a band but never serenades Mia. Honestly, we love to see it. When he finishes band practice and volunteers to do free labour on her car? Ugh, you just have to swoon.
  8. I love a good makeover montage, but seriously she was so pretty before. I hate the idea that straight hair = pretty and curly = bad. Also Lilly is a bad friend (yet again) for making Mia feel upset about her new look.
  9. Sandra Oh as Principal Gupta is such a scene-stealer, what an icon.
  10. The chaos of the state dinner still gets me. She really lit that man on fire!
  11. Julie Andrews arm-wrestling in that arcade suddenly has me craving a corndog. That scene was actually filmed at Musee Mecanique, which is a real spot in San Francisco.
  12. For the record, Josh Bryant is NOT hot! He just gives off the absolute worst vibes. The way she drops Michael for Josh at the beach party is soul-crushing. Also, this song playing as he sits there looking sad is too much!
  13. Just did a quick deep dive into Michael AKA Robert Schwartzman’s Instagram and I am pleased to report that yes, he’s still the lead singer of Rooney and also, he looks like this now:

    If they ever eventually make a third film in this series I am BEGGING them to bring Michael back.

  14. I can’t believe they really sent the paps after Mia while she was changing her clothes. Lana is not seeing heaven!
  15. “Wow is having the power to affect change, make people listen. How many teenagers have that power?” OK Lilly, this is a good redemption speech.
  16. LANA GOT CONED! I’m sorry, but she had no business making fun of Jeremiah. He looks like an adorable little hipster with his sweater and red hair!
  17. Mia is only 15, where did she think she was going to run away to? Plus, now the world knows she’s a princess, did she really think disappearing would solve anything? Was her plan to drop out of school?
  18. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something is more important than fear; The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.” OKAY Mia’s dad, come through with the wisdom! I’m not crying, I swear.
  19. Mia’s speech is so good. Her teacher should give her an automatic A for that one — who needs debate class when you’re making speeches to diplomats, international press outlets and royalty?
  20. THE KISS! The dancing to Myra’s “Miracles Happen!” It’s the perfect ending.

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