As the camera pans through the beautiful city of San Francisco, it stops at a poster stuck on a window of an apartment. It reads, “Mia & Fat Louie’s. Keep Out.”
Mia, curly-haired-awkward-geeky-15-year-old wearing a chic school uniform saunters around, cuddling with her cat, Fat Louie, in her room in her mother's newly renovated firehouse.
That first scene excites me even today, after 16 (gulps) years, since the movie first came out.
I first watched Princess Diaries when I was 15. In the past decade, I honestly cannot recollect the number of times I have watched the movie. (Also, Mean Girls! Anyone can relate?)
I have seen it alone.
In a cinema hall.
On my laptop.
Fellow obsessors, you know what I am talking about.
You can say I have grown up watching the movie and it does mean a lot to me. There are a few movies and books that shape and define your formative years, and Princess Diaries would definitely rank as one.
Mia was all of us, the film taught us to embrace our quirks.
Remember the first time Mia met her grandmother? Such a quirky character, made me laugh every time. She was funny, awkward, and basically all of us. But what made her character even more relatable was how she learns to accept that about herself. Embrace the weird!
As a kid, I aspired to have the life Mia had. You know, you are living this ordinary life, doing things, going to school, struggling with studies and trying to make sense out of life and then, just like that, they tell you that you're a princess.
I know how Mia reacted to that piece of information but I always wondered how I would react to the same.
The movie rejoices in the transformation of a frizz ball to a princess and it filled me with hope each time. It made you realise that you weren't the only one out there who did not conform. And it was okay. Mia, of course, is given a glamorous makeover, and honestly, it made the 15-year-old in me very happy and hopeful. Only years later do we realise, that this movie was more than that. Much deeper.
The movie is the life of every teen. There are the mean cheerleaders, the mom with a will of a tiger, and the supportive best friend, that makes the movie all the more relatable. From someone who was bullied in school and once, barfed instead of giving a speech, Mia became a woman filled with confidence, speaking in public, like a boss!
And also, this, in case you forgot!
It also explores the growth of Anna Hathway's character through the movie which is filled with life lessons.
The grandmom we secretly wished for all the time.
I love Julia Andrews ( Mary Poppins & Sound Of Music) and watching her play the Queen was delightful. When Clarisse, the grandmother and the Queen of Genovia, said these lines in the movie, I was completely enamoured. Grandmom had swag before swag was a thing. She said the stinkiest things with a smile of an angel. So, the next time you stumble late at the office, just remember, you are the queen and so you can.
I mean, look at her face. Just look at it!
The friend we always wanted.
My idea of a perfect friendship was Mia and Lily's friendship.
They were so brutally, unapologetically honest with each other, it was not only funny to watch, but also, their relationship made me feel so warm inside.
They are just so compatible and accepting of each other. No wonder they are #friendgoals.
I was jealous how they could be completely themselves in each other's company.
Mia & Lily, always there for each other.
The love that gave us butterflies in the stomach. *Melts*
Wait! Would you disagree if I say Michael was the cutest?
And the way Mia smiles when she looks at him. *Long sigh*
Throughout the movie, we see Michael looking at Mia with love struck eyes, watching her come, watching her go. Just a silent observer. I secretly wished someone would just look at me the way Michael looked at Mia.
His shy demeanour made him even more adorable. The movie made us believe in true love, the one that sees through you, through your fancy shenanigans, the one that stays.
The movie, very subtly, instills the idea of independence in young girls.
This movie wasn't just a chick flick about relationships and becoming a princess, it had a deep understanding of being a woman in a man's world. Mia had a huge female influence in her life. Her mother, who made a decision to pursue her interests rather than staying with Mia's dad and giving up her dream. Mia's grandmother, who had taken the responsibility of an entire country on to her shoulders and dedicated her entire life to serving the people. Lily, Mia's best friend, was headstrong and strongly opinionated. She spoke her mind out without fear.
Somehow I believe, this movie filled me with confidence to be a woman and still do whatever I felt like doing. It made me want to improve myself and make myself stronger every day.
Who can forget Mia's speech in the sequel, when she decides to not marry and rule without a king by her side?
Mia and her clan were there for me then, they are they for me now and I can relive this story for the rest of my life.