The untold truth of Netflix's A Christmas Prince

Netflix's A Christmas Prince is a holiday movie for the ages — for better or for worse. Save for the occasional big, blockbuster hit, most Christmas movies are pretty cheesy. Of course, some are cheesier than others, but the genre doesn't exactly lend itself to the stuff Oscar nominations are made of. Instead, Christmas movies tend to have a romance, a plot that seems like it was thought of in five minutes or less, and a budget so low it's almost laughable. Still, Christmas movies are just part of what makes the holiday season so enjoyable, and no other Christmas movie out there has had as much of an impact as A Christmas Prince.

The movie follows aspiring journalist Amber as she is assigned a story about the young, playboy prince of the fictional country of Aldovia. Of course, hijinks ensue, Amber and the prince fall in love, and there are plenty of Christmas miracles along the way. The movie is so bad that it's good, and there's a reason it's already become a holiday classic. In fact, there's more to A Christmas Prince than meets the eye, and the truth of the movie is pretty interesting. 

The filming location for Netflix's A Christmas Prince was actually pretty magical

Obviously, the country in which A Christmas Prince takes place, Aldovia, is fictional. Much like the country of Genovia in The Princess Diaries, Aldovia is apparently a small European nation with an uncertain future. In A Christmas Prince, this uncertain future is due to the fact that the playboy prince seems unwilling to take the crown. In fact, there are rumors that he might abdicate, which is why Amber is sent to Aldovia. And while the country might not be real, the movie was actually filmed in a pretty spectacular location.

According to IMDb, Netflix's A Christmas Prince was filmed at "Peles Castle, a Neo-Renaissance castle in the Carpathian Mountains, situated in Sinaia, in Romania," which was further confirmed by House Beautiful. According to Atlas Obscura, the Peles Castle was finished in 1883 and is described as a "fairytale castle," which makes it perfect for A Christmas Prince. Though Aldovia might be a fictional country, the castle used to make the nation look real is certainly magical and definitely fitting for a Christmas movie.

The castle in Netflix's A Christmas Prince might look familiar

While Netflix's A Christmas Prince definitely does a good job at making the Peles Castle look magical and like it totally fits in the fictional country of Aldovia, the movie isn't the first of it's kind to use that royal residence. In fact, as IMDb noted, the same filming location of the castle used in A Christmas Prince, Peles Castle, was also used for a handful of other royal Christmas movies — specifically, for made-for-TV movies, as the website noted. 

According to the Mirror, Peles Castle was also used in the movie A Princess for Christmas, a Hallmark Channel original movie, as well as A Prince for Christmas and Royal Matchmaker, all of which are fairly cheesy holiday films. Clearly, the Peles Castle is known to be the ideal castle for making a corny holiday rom-com. What more is there to say? It's clearly a magical location! 

There's a pretty big error in the opening shots of Netflix's A Christmas Prince

As A Christmas Prince is undeniably cheesy and seems to follow in the suit of Hallmark Christmas movies of having a fairly low budget, it's no wonder that the movie would have a few little errors. And while there are definitely some moments of subpar acting and confusing plot points, there is one continuity error in A Christmas Prince that had viewers all over laughing at the mistake. 

As Entertainment Weekly pointed out, the opening scenes of Netflix's A Christmas Prince seem to indicate that the movie is supposed to start with Amber living and working in New York City. There are shots of Central Park and the Statue of Liberty, and then, there is a shot of the Chicago River. Clearly, the budget for A Christmas Prince wasn't big enough for full-time editors or maybe no one was getting paid enough to double-check that the opening scenes actually made sense. Whatever the case, it's all just part of what makes the movie so bad and so good at the same time. 

The main character of Netflix's A Christmas Prince has an impressive resume

Though Netflix's A Christmas Prince isn't exactly top-notch, award-winning cinema, that doesn't mean the movie's cast isn't talented. In fact, the main character, Amber, is played by an actress who actually has a rather impressive resume. Rose McIver plays the clumsy and kind Amber, and she's had plenty of experience acting. And she might actually be familiar to some viewers. For one, McIver starred in the hit CW show iZombie as zombie medical examiner Olivia Moore from 2015 to 2019. 

Additionally, McIver played Tinker Bell in the ABC series Once Upon a Time. Clearly, McIver has a knack for playing fantastical roles, and her role in A Christmas Prince isn't too different. Sure, the cheesy romance film lacks the same magical or supernatural elements that Disney projects and shows about zombies have, but there's still a fantastical element to A Christmas Prince. Her romantic interest is a prince, after all!

Netflix's A Christmas Prince had people watching it on repeat

As cheesy, cringe-worthy, and awkward as A Christmas Prince is, it is still totally binge-able. In fact, the movie garnered a lot of attention after the streaming company responsible for it, Netflix, sent a rather snarky tweet poking fun at all the people who had repeatedly watched the movie. On Dec. 10, 2017, the Netflix Twitter account sent out a rather specific tweet regarding some of its users' viewing habits: "To the 53 people who've watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?"

The tweet definitely got people talking, and it even called into question the ethics of a streaming company seeing such specific data about users and then sharing such data. "Extracting data points with no context and offering up data that should be anonymised in a way that could identify individuals" was "a bit creepy," according to technology commentator Kate Bevan, who spoke to BBC on the matter. Regardless of the tweet, it's clear that people loved Netflix's A Christmas Prince from the get-go, and there's nothing wrong with that. 

The plot of Netflix's A Christmas Prince is kind of familiar

Though much can be said of the plot of A Christmas Prince — like how it isn't very good — there is definitely one valid criticism that has been pointed out. It's kind of familiar. And not just because you might have seen some of the actors in another show or because the castle has been used in other movies. No, the plot of Netflix's A Christmas Prince almost feels as if it was made by picking and choosing various plot points from other royal-themed movies. 

As Entertainment Weekly noted, there are way too many plot points in A Christmas Prince that are straight from other movies for it to just be a coincidence. Or perhaps that's just Netflix proving how little people are supposed to critically think about this film. Whatever the case, the entire idea of a smart-but-average American girl falling for a playboy prince was done in The Prince and Me. And there are even specific scenes that seem to have come from other movies, like the prince teaching Amber how to shoot a bow and arrow — that is exactly like a scene in Princess Diaries 2: A Royal Engagement.

Netflix's A Christmas Prince is full of typical Christmas rom-com tropes

As there is in just about every movie genre, there are certain tropes that are standard fare in any romantic holiday film. For instance, there's always a meet-cute, some kind of drama, and usually a friendly sidekick or two. But Netflix's A Christmas Prince has so many rom-com tropes that it's kind of ridiculous. As Elle noted, the movie is so chock-full of Christmas rom-com clichés that it's actually pretty predictable, which is probably one reason why it's so enjoyable. 

For starters, the main character, Amber, is stuck at a job she dislikes and wants to get out of. Hm, pretty convenient considering she'll soon meet a prince who will sweep her off her feet and render the need for her to work completely useless! Then, there's the fact that the prince isn't such a playboy after all, and why, yes, there is a conniving, jealous ex trying to make her way back into his good graces. It's all very normal fare for a holiday rom-com, but also a bit much. Still, it's fun to hate-watch.

The Prince in Netflix's A Christmas Prince may be loosely based in reality

The whole playboy prince who may or may not want to thwart his title in order to live a "normal" life is certainly nothing new. Plenty of other royal-themed films use that same trope in order to further their plot. The Prince and Me is just one movie example featuring a prince who isn't taking his responsibilities seriously enough for his family's liking. However, there may be a seed of truth in that same prince character.

As Bustle noted, the character of Prince Richard in Netflix's A Christmas Prince definitely seems to be some sort of tribute to either Prince Harry or Prince William. Both princes had a little bit of a playboy phase before they eventually settled down with their now-wives. There's also another layer of truth to the comparison of Prince Richard to Prince Harry: In A Christmas Prince, Prince Richard falls in love with an American, and, as the whole world knows, Prince Harry found love with an American as well — Meghan Markle.

Netflix's A Christmas Prince went viral on Twitter

Almost as soon as A Christmas Prince premiered on Netflix, viewers couldn't get enough of the so-bad-it's-good holiday rom-com. The Hallmark-esque Christmas movie has everything viewers could want from a feel-good film, and so it naturally went viral. People on social media couldn't stop raving about the new movie they hated and loved. Just go check Twitter for the hashtag #AChristmasPrince, and you'll be bombarded with results. 

People were so obsessed with the movie that publications like PopSugar even rounded up all the best tweets from the movie's viral moment when it premiered. Of course, BuzzFeed, Bustle, and many others also did Twitter roundups because there was no shortage of tweets regarding the movie. "Words can't describe how bad #AChristmasPrince is. Words also can't describe how good it is," one Twitter user wrote. Netflix's A Christmas Prince was definitely a viral sensation, and it's all because of its many cringe-worthy moments.

Netflix's A Christmas Prince is actually pretty progressive compared to Hallmark holiday films

After A Christmas Prince came out, many viewers started comparing it to the very similar, incredibly cheesy holiday romances that air on the Hallmark Channel. However, there was one key difference in A Christmas Prince that makes it stand out from the movies Hallmark Channel airs all Christmas season: diversity. While Hallmark Channel has definitely improved upon its diversity over the years, as a network with a Christian background, they've never really had a gay character. 

However, in Netflix's A Christmas Prince, the main character has two good friends she relies on for advice: Melissa and Andy. Melissa black and Andy is gay, making it a far departure from the typical fare of a Hallmark movie. Though the film still centers on a main character much like those on the Hallmark Channel (white, kind, smart, and clumsy), her friends are more diverse than most of what has been done in the past, which is a definite improvement.

Rose McIver liked how cheesy the plot was when she signed on for Netflix's A Christmas Prince

Part of what makes A Christmas Prince so great is that it is so, totally cheesy. The movie is definitely predictable, and, though it might not be the height of cinematic excellence or win any critical awards, it's still fun to watch. The fact that Netflix's A Christmas Prince is corny is part of why actress Rose McIver, who plays the lead Amber, signed on to the project. 

In an interview with Glamour, McIver was asked what made her want to film the movie, and she explained that she liked that it was light and cheesy. "I just think it's a fun, happy Christmas movie," she said. "I have every opportunity in my life to do really dark, gritty stories, and this is something that was just fun. It was filming in Romania; I'd never been there before. And it's the kind of movie that I would put on and do a jigsaw puzzle to myself." 

For fans of the movie, and the actors in it, the cheesiness of A Christmas Prince is just what makes the film so beloved. 

Netflix's A Christmas Prince is meant to be escapism

Just like there is something comforting in rereading a beloved book when you already know the ending, there is also something comforting to watching a cheesy movie where you know nothing terrible is going to happen. Such is the case with A Christmas Prince. The movie is escapism at its finest, and even the star of the film, Rose McIver, thinks so. 

In an interview with Glamour, McIver was asked why she thinks the film has resonated with so many people, and she explained that it was simple: People want to escape. "I think right now in the world there's plenty of access to terrible news," she said. "It's not just that bad things are happening; it's the fact they're reported on in the way in which they are. I think sometimes we feel pretty depleted by the state of things as we see them, and this is a chance to escape and believe in a fairy tale again and be children. It's great. I'm glad it's found an audience." Though life can be hard sometimes, movies like Netflix's A Christmas Prince are fun and easy, which is exactly what the world needs. 

There are some hidden gems in Netflix's A Christmas Prince

Even though Netflix's A Christmas Prince might be popular and beloved by many, the movie seems to have had a fairly small budget. In addition to some minor mistakes that fans noticed in the movie, there are a few other moments that make the movie that much more cringe-worthy. As IMDb noted, at one point in the movie, a story about Prince Richard is shown on a gossip website, but, under the headline, it appears as though someone forgot to change or edit the filler text.  

The text under the headline "Does Prince Richard have a new secret girlfriend?" reads as though someone just typed a bunch of words at random. "He as compliment unreserved projecting," the blurb states. "Between bad observe pretend delight for believe. Do newspaper questions consulted sweetness do. Remark fat set why are sudden depend change entire wanted. Performed remainder attending led fat residence for." Clearly, the movie's editors didn't care too much about the film making sense. 

The popularity of Netflix's A Christmas Prince spawned two sequels

Netflix's A Christmas Prince had everyone talking when it premiered in 2017, and, even though the movie wasn't the best quality, it was still popular enough to spawn not one but two sequels. That's right, the Netflix franchise released a follow-up sequel to A Christmas Prince in 2018, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding. As the title suggests, the movie followed Amber and Prince Richard as they planned their upcoming nuptials.

Obviously, the two were set to have a Christmas wedding, but their plans were jeopardized as Amber struggled with whether or not she was actually ready to be a queen. Then, in March 2019, Netflix announced there would be yet another sequel to the franchise: A Christmas Prince: A Royal Baby, about Amber and Prince Richard having a child together. Clearly, the movie franchise people love to hate and hate to love isn't going anywhere.