2011 Running time: 105 Certificate: pg Rating: 3

Synopsis

It's Roman Holiday meets The Princess Diaries as Texan tourists Grace (Selena Gomez), Emma (Katie Cassidy) and Meg (Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester) find themselves whisked away from Paris to the glitz and glamour of Monte Carlo when Grace is mistaken for a British heiress. Meanwhile, the dippy rich girl (Gomez again) has bunked off her socialite duties to party elsewhere, and has no idea about the identity confusion. Cue mischief, mayhem, romantic bike rides and bags and bags of bling. Zippy tween fun.

Director

  • Thomas Bezucha

Cast

  • Selena Gomez

  • Katie Cassidy

  • Leighton Meester

  • Cory Monteith

  • Andie MacDowell

Review

When beautiful Texan teen Grace (Gomez) discovers that she looks exactly like Cordelia Winthorpe-Scott, a snooty British heiress, while holidaying in Paris with her best friend and her step-sister, she decides to up sticks and exchange her one-star Parisian package trip for an all-paid jaunt to Monte Carlo.

That this kind of deceit is highly out of character for poor, out-of-her-depth Grace is fundamental here, with Hollywood making it very clear that, though Bulgari necklaces are pretty, they just don't compare to, you know, helping people. It's morals, not money, that's the thing.

Leighton Meester and Kate Cassidy have graduated from the designer-stuffed wardrobes of Gossip Girl to the feature length version of, well, pretty much the same thing. Every scene is a girl's wish fulfilment fantasy, from the celeb-stuffed parties the girls attend, to the expensive clothes they wear.

Even the much-maligned one-week trip to Paris is, in typical Hollywood style, drowning in reverence.

"I'm sorry I thought I could be the kind of person that comes to Paris!" despairs Grace. It's not like you're de-worming Somalian orphans, love.

Monte Carlo misses the mark in many ways: the script is poor, and the plot isn't exactly original - The Prince and the Pauper, Roman Holiday, The Parent Trap - you've definitely seen this film before, in one form or another.

But, it won't matter one jot. This is a film that knows what its teen audience wants - and gives it to it in spades.

Oh, and there's a nice turn from Catherine Tate as Cordelia's super-posh aunt with a heart of gold. Odd but much appreciated casting in a film that seeks otherwise to make all Brits look like horsey villains.

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