“The Royal Treatment” is charming, yet royally predictable


Photo via Netflix

Netflix released the movie “The Royal Treatment” on Jan. 20. I’m not a hardcore fan of rom-coms, but I was willing to watch this movie for the two main leads, Laura Marano and Mena Massoud. The former is from my childhood favorite show, “Austin and Ally,” while the latter starred in “Aladdin.” I watched “The Royal Treatment” for the actors, not for the predictable plot that followed. 

The movie is led by Izzy (Laura Marano), who is a proud Italian-American woman and a beauty salon owner in the Bronx. She works alongside her mother (Amanda Billing) and grandmother (Elizabeth Hawthorne). Conversely, Prince Thomas (Mena Massoud) from Lavania is in an arranged marriage to hotel heiress Lauren (Phoenix Connolly) to appease his parents and increase his family’s fortune. The pair meet when Thomas accidentally books a much-needed haircut at Izzy’s salon and naturally, sparks fly. 

Though I was always three steps ahead of the characters, I actually liked this movie. There were about 16 different accents in the film, and I enjoyed each one. Moreover, I adored how much the film was infused with Italian culture. Better yet, Izzy was a strong, optimistic and compassionate character who held Thomas accountable. When Izzy follows Thomas to his hometown in Lavania, she points out the poor conditions of the citizens and questions why the royal family remains idle in their designer dresses and mansions. I felt like this was a subtle nod to today’s world where monarchies in democratic countries still hold mass amounts of fortune for doing absolutely nothing.

On the other hand, Massoud got the short end of the stick. His character was honestly bland and blind to his privilege. He was more of an idolized side character than anything else. However, I did like his butler Walter (Cameron Rhodes Walter), who remained the focal point for the humor in the film. 

Although the movie was cliché-ridden, it was still a fun watch. The movie did its best to intertwine progressive elements into a love story, but the film was hindered by its lack of character development. However, it’s perfect for those seeking an enjoyable distraction.