I watched three movies touting themselves as love stories this weekend. The Young Victoria was the one I liked best. If you set aside scenes with courtly politics, grand parties and the palace, what the movie is really about is two intelligent people building a real relationship. Which is a refreshing to watch. (I watched about a season and a half of The Tudors and got a little tired of the King exercising his royal powers of seduction.)
What I really liked was that the movie portrayed the queen and prince as human – awkward and uncertain, petulant, passionate, curious, authoritative, vulnerable. They play chess, walk in the garden and write letters to each other. Though Prince Albert (Rupert Friend) has been trained to court Victoria (Emily Blunt) with the aim of a politically-beneficial marriage, he chooses to court her with genuine interest and emotion.
There are still some points where Prince Albert comes to her rescue, but not in the traditional sense. He treats her as a partner, not a pawn, and complements her strengths with his own. The movie also illustrates Victoria growing into her power well – determined to do the right thing for her country and herself, but still having a lot to learn at first.
If you like:
- A more realistic depiction of romance and marriage than most movies (i.e. it takes effort and compromise, but the rewards are worth it)
- Historical dramas with elaborately gorgeous costumes
- English gardens
- Male characters sporting sideburns fashionable in the mid-1800s
Put it in the queue!
- Prefer your royalty decadent
- Think Prince Albert is only a type of tobacco or body piercing
- Don't watch movies with a PG or lower rating
Don't put it in the queue.
Written by Jennifer Venson