Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.

Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

St. Petersburg Times Online

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'Princess Diaries' makes a great family date

[Photo: Walt Disney Pictures]
Queen Clarisse Renaldi (Julie Andrews), right, provides her American granddaughter Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway), center, with “princess lessons” and a makeover by a world-renowned cosmetologist, left, in The Princess Diaries.


© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 6, 2001

Movie: The Princess Diaries

Rating: G

Summary: Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) is a 16-year-old who basically has no social life. One day she gets word that her grandmother (Julie Andrews) is in town for a special reason. Mia's father, who was long absent from her life, was crown prince of a small European country, Genovia. He has recently passed away, which would make Mia the Princess of Genovia, heir to the throne, if she chose to accept the responsibility. Well, let's just say Mia needs a lot of polishing, so Grandma, Queen Clarisse of Genovia, volunteers to give her princess lessons while she ponders her decision.

My view: This is an ideal movie for families to see. It has a very warm, fuzzy feeling, and nothing about it is rude, crude or inappropriate. The plot was somewhat predictable, but it was still good. Anne Hathaway played a good princess. Julie Andrews was okay, but it was no Mary Poppins role.

Favorite part: It was good finally to see a movie with a "G" rating that had appeal to a wider variety of ages, instead of the usual 2 to 6 age group that typically views these films.

Least favorite part: At nearly two hours, the movie was too long. I think the story could have been told in about 30 fewer minutes.

Recommendations: This is a good (although not quite great) movie. I recommend this flick to kids of all ages, along with their families.

Grade: B

- Billy Norris, 13, will be in the eighth grade at Seminole Middle School and is a former member of the Times X-Team.

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