How I Feel About… “Mary: The Making of a Princess”

16 Nov

Last night I watched Mary: The Making of a Princess, the “dramatization” of Mary Donaldson’s meteoric rise from Tasmanian girl-next-door to future Queen of Denmark.

Now, I don’t know if Our Mary herself had any actual input into the script; but all sources seem to be pointing to the negative. I mean, she’s probably v v busy ruling over a foreign country and buying wool-blend coats.

But we all know that this did actually happen; an unassuming girl from Tasmania literally went out on the turps with her mates and landed herself a flipping prince. I mean, it’s the stuff dreams are made of. Mary is the poster child for every Disney-obsessed single gal who has been told time and time again that meeting their Prince Charming is a f*cking fantasy.

I just don’t know how I feel about what I watched last night.

Opening sequence began. Hello sweeping, panoramic views of Sydney. Mary running along a mountainous pathway, looking forlornly at the couples making PDA’s. Poor Mary. The subtle tones of Ain’t That a Kick in The Head suggested that this probably wasn’t going to be the gritty, expose I was hoping it might be, but rather a Mills & Boon-esque brainchild burst from the compound of Woman’s Day.

What was wrong with it?

First of all, the producers really wanted to get across to us that Our Mary is a good girl. Wholesome, sweet, health-conscious. The list goes on. I mean, she came home from her run, sat on the couch and ate CELERY! Bitch, please. (Mary was all about the running. When she thought she’d been dumped, she wailed about not being able to go for another run. Come on, Mary! Get in bed and eat your feelings like a REGULAR WOMAN!)

Later, when Fred basically just got his junk out, no big deal, and ran into the ocean, Mary hesitantly followed, still in her dress. Again, I’m calling bullsh*t. Hot, charming legitimate prince wants to sexy skinny dip with you and you keep your clothes ON?! Either the producers were really pushing the whole “Virgin Mary” thing or that did not happen. Any woman with half a brain and a thread of libido would be stripping off quicker than you can say, “Haagen Dazs.”

Second of all, I know this is a real story, but it played out too much like a literal fairy tale. Apart from the long-distance issue and the brief mention of some naked model called Bettina, the awkward and often heart-breaking logistics of dating were not explored as much as I would have liked.

After coming back to Sydney to take Mary out for the day on a super yacht, Freddy gets a call that his beloved Grandmama has had a stroke. He swiftly wraps up his seduction on the high seas and hot-foots it out of there back to his kingdom, leaving Mary on the pier in her cut-off cargo pants, looking forlorn and rejected. Now, if this was my life, you could pretty much cut there and have it in the can. Girl meets hot rich guy. Hot rich guy seduces girl. They drink on super yacht. Hot rich guy makes excuse to get the funk out of there. He never calls her again. The end. But we all know that was not the case.

And speaking of calling her, that’s the other thing. Did Freddy have some sort of psychic ability? Because ERRY single time Our Mary was sittin around mooning over him, he would magically call her. If life has taught me anything it’s that dudes never call when you’re thinking about them. You just end up drinking yourself into a stupor and yelling at the TV.

Look, it got on my nerves, okay?

Lastly, these previous two issues combined to create an overall narrative that was pretty lacking in real tension. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated the producers’ efforts to inject the drama, but it didn’t get them far.

The job was pretty much left up to Mary’s gruff, Scottish father. And while he did a fairly stoic job of it, I couldn’t help but wonder how realistic it all was. Sorry to make the comparison again, but seriously, if I turned up at my parents with the Crown Prince of Denmark in tow, they would probably throw a parade big enough to rival Kylie Minogue at bloody Mardi Gras.

Add to that the fact that he wrote a letter asking for Mary’s hand in marriage, I just don’t think there would be a camera lens advanced enough to capture the speed with which my Dad would sign that sucker away. Like, a goddamn PRINCE wants to marry your single daughter; is there a problem here?

So what was good about it?

The soundtrack. Madison Avenue, Killing Heidi and New Radicals. GAWD 2000 was a good year for music! When the opening strains of Don’t Call Me Baby rang out over the Slip Inn dance floor, I was transported to a better day of hair mascara and working part-time at Baskin & Robbins. In fact, the entire Year 2000-vibe of the film was a pleasant and, for the most part, accurate trip down memory lane. A time of dial-up internet and Nikki Webster before the boob job. #memories.

Also the guy who played Prince Frederik was a total dreamboat. He was shirtless a lot. It made me feel things in my own special Danish place.


The moral of the story?

As much as we all love Princess Mary, did we girls really need a fluffy telemovie about her real life fairy tale while we sit around fielding d*ck pics on Tinder?

Jury’s out.


fred and mary

Maybe you should take your shirt off again.

















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