Review by Camden Ferrell
The Royal Treatment is a new romantic comedy and marks the first leading role for Mena Massoud since his breakout performance in 2019’s Aladdin. It is directed by television and film veteran Rick Jacobson and written by Holly Hester. This movie is harmless and short, but it is an incredibly cliché and derivative story of countless other films that already have more substance than this one.
Izzy is a young and morally driven young salon owner. She speaks out against minor injustices against common people while also being headstrong in her beliefs. One day while he is visiting town, a visiting Prince named Thomas by chance becomes acquainted with Izzy. This leads to the opportunity of a lifetime for Izzy and her stylist friends. They get the opportunity to do the hair and makeup for the royal wedding of Prince Thomas. However, in typical rom-com fashion, destiny has other plans. This set up is cheesy and intentionally so, but it still has the potential to deliver some heartfelt and funny moments.
Unfortunately for the movie, it’s clear from the start that the movie is only interested in treading the same ground as most other romantic comedies. It features cliché jokes and moments that are more exhausting than anything. It doesn’t aim to do anything different with its plot or execution, and it’s utterly predictable to the point of boredom. However, I will concede that its messages of helping the less fortunate can be a positive influence on younger audiences who might watch the film due to its TV-PG rating.
The acting in this movie is average throughout. Laura Marano and Mena Massoud both lead the film as Izzy and Thomas. Marano is typically an above average actress, but her role in this movie seems uninspired, backed by an Italian accent that never sounds quite right. Massoud also lacks the charisma he usually has and doesn’t do much to make his scenes more enjoyable or comical. In addition to that, the supporting cast is entirely forgettable once the movie ends.
Its boilerplate execution continuously drags the film down, but there are films that are able to take cliché premises and turn them into something great. The problem is this movie has no interest in being the slightest bit subversive. Its jokes almost always miss, and there’s no personality in the cinematography, score, or execution.
The Royal Treatment might be fun for genre enthusiasts or fans of the lead actors, but it’s a mostly hollow experience for most. It has a likeable pair of leads but never knows how to get good performances out of them to create a memorable and enjoyable romantic comedy.
The Royal Treatment is streaming on Netflix January 20.