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Film / Princess Protection Program

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Princess Protection Program is a Disney Channel original movie starring Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. When a tiny country is caught in a power struggle with its royal family and a military dictator, General Magnus Kane, who wants power for himself, the young Princess Rosalinda (Lovato) is taken into custody by the Princess Protection Program. She is whisked away to rural Louisiana where she must learn the ins and outs of behaving like a normal American teenager. In the process of adapting to her new life, Rosie gives her new friend and roommate, Carter (Gomez), a few lessons in how to act with royal aplomb.

Tropes present in this movie:

  • Abdicate the Throne: Queen Sofía is planning to step down from the throne following her husband’s death, making Rosie her successor.
  • Accidental Misnaming: When Rosie calls Eddie "Edward", he corrects her by saying his name is Edwin.
  • Alliterative Title: Princess Protection Program.
  • All-Loving Hero: Rosie, who's been raised to do what's best for her country and her people. She also has quite a talent for social situations, winning her classmates as easily over as small children and old ladies, all of whom are enchanted with her.
  • Alpha Bitch: Chelsea, a very pretty and colossally mean girl who is so obsessively hungry for attention that she has to constantly bully Carter and Rosie whenever there's a hint that someone could like them , and she apparently can boss just about everyone around, not to mention literally kicking people. Later in the movie though, her enormous influence on the other students crumbles. Then again, with her attitude, one wonders how she was ever popular in the first place.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Señor Elegante, the young fashion designer who works at Rosalinda's court, behaves in a very camp-y manner, but when he talks about "his Princesa", he sounds more than just a little smitten.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: General Kane tries to force Rosalinda's mother to marry him. This is not out of any romantic interest, but merely as a ploy to lure Rosalinda out of hiding; he doesn't actually want to marry her at all.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: The movie ends with Rosie's coronation as the new queen of Costa Luna.
  • Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch: Near the end, Chelsea's Girl Posse, including her second-in-command, Brooke, decide they've had it with her bad attitude and hang out with Carter and Rosie.
  • Bad Job, Worse Uniform: The job that Rosie takes in an ice-cream shop require to wear a hat with cow's horns.
  • Banana Republic: General Kane's dominion of Costa Estrella, into which he hopes to absorb the Kingdom of Costa Luna.
  • Beta Bitch: Brooke is this to Chelsea, though she doesn't seem to be too malicious by default, just comfortable to follow a leader and kind of dumb. She abandons the role near the end, leaving Chelsea on her own.
  • Betty and Veronica: Carter (the Betty) hopelessly competes with Chelsea (the Veronica) over Donny (the Archie) over the course of the film.
  • Big Bad: General Kane, military dictator of the Republic of Costa Estrella, aims to conquer the Kingdom of Costa Luna for himself, and is the reason Rosalinda is forced to flee her country.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Major Mason, both at the beginning of the movie when General Kane invades Costa Luna and later at the school prom when Kane tries to abduct Rosalinda.
  • Bilingual Bonus: There are no subtitles for Rosie's conversation with the French teacher. Of course, she uses relatively simple French, such that anyone who's taken French lessons but isn't fluent should be able to understand, or even anyone who's taken a similar language.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Chelsea often has this attitude, particularly when she offers a part-time job to Rosie. Chelsea ensures then to sabotage her first day at the frozen yogurt shop.
  • Book on the Head: Parodied. Rosie wants to prove to Carter that being royalty isn't just showing off. Carter goes along with it and learns how to act like royalty, including walking and balancing a book on her head. When she states she just can't believe princesses have to do this, Rosie bursts into laughter and admits she actually never had to do this sort of thing; she was just pulling Carter's leg.
  • Burping Contest: Carter and Rosie have one, showing how used Rosie has gotten to life as a "commoner" and as a sign of their comradeship on equal grounds.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Señor Elegante, who is introduced early in the movie as Rosalinda's royal dressmaker. Carter later contacts him because she needs his help with her plan to prevent General Kane from capturing Rosie.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Chelsea is this whenever Donny talks with Carter or spends his time looking over at the new girl Rosie.
  • Cunning Linguist: Rosie, who speaks English, French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese fluently.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Carter, though she's not nice about it at first.
    Rosie: *about the Homecoming prom queen* You vote for royalty here?
    Carter: We're a democracy; we're into voting.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: A non-romantic example. Carter starts the film being needlessly rude and standoffish to Rosie, from berating her for not fitting in to forcing her to do inventory by counting worms, and finally by being rude to her after she makes Carter and her dad dinner. Over the course of the film, however, Rosie teaches her that there is more to being a princess than how you look, and slowly gets Carter to come out of her shell, as well as befriend her. By the end of the movie, Carter is prepared to risk her life to save Rosie, and is even invited to her coronation.
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?:
    • It's not until Carter arrives at the dance in a beautiful dress that Donny finally notices her. She chews him out for it — "Before I put on this dress, you couldn't even remember my name" — and turns him down to go dancing with Ed and her friends.
    • Chelsea gets one of these as well, from Brooke of all people, who has grown sick of Chelsea's being mean and bossy all the time.
  • Disappeared Dad: Rosie's father died sometime before the events of the movie.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: The climax happens because Chelsea, the Alpha Bitch, finally figures out who "Rosie" is and calls General Kane to come get her so he can remove one less obstacle from her path to maintaining Queen Bee status. Good thing it's a Disney Channel film.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Ed to Carter until the end, because Carter has mostly eyes for Donny. Ed keeps being her best friend all the time, supporting her on every turn, and Carter eventually realizes that he's a way nicer guy than Donny.
  • Eating Lunch Alone: Rosie on her first school day, until Carter's sympathy gets the better of her and she sits with Rosie and explains to her a few essential things.
  • Fictional Country: Costa Luna and Costa Estrella. Rosie handwaves the fact that Carter has never heard of Costa Luna before because it is so small, without any importance for bigger nations.
  • Gratuitous Princess: Rosalinda, the numerous other princesses from all around the world whom she encounters at the PPP, and at high school, she, Carter, and Chelsea are crowned Homecoming Princesses. Chelsea is the only one of them who puts real value on the crown and title itself, whereas Rosie knows very well that there's a lot of duty and responsibility to being a princess.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: In addition to the odd choice of making Rosie's homeland Spanish-speaking, she reverts to Spanish at times when it makes absolutely no sense to do so (e.g., asking Carter where the bathroom is).
  • Harmless Villain: He probably wasn't supposed to be this, but can anyone really take General Kane seriously? Sure, he shows that he's a cunning villain, but he doesn't really seem to do anything threatening!
  • Heel–Face Turn: Brooke decides to turn her back on Chelsea after telling her what kind of a person she is.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: Louisiana seems like a pretty obvious place to hide a princess, but that's the whole point!
  • Honorary Princess: Chelsea, Rosalinda and Carter become the three finalists for the Queen contest of the homecoming dance, and receive princesses' tiaras. Chelsea doesn't deserve hers much, and Rosie was already a princess by birth. So Rosie helps Carter to have the princess attitude, and at the dance, Carter goes so far as trying to sacrifice her freedom in exchange for Rosie's. The latter affirms that, with this heroic act, Carter became a real princess.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: Though Carter openly dislikes Rosalinda at first and picks on her, she does not like it one bit when Chelsea and her mean girl posse humiliate Rosie by having her work at a yogurt shop "for losers", causing Carter to seek retaliation by shoving a frozen yogurt onto the hair of Chelsea's cameraboy for filming Rosie's ordeal.
  • Important Haircut: Rosalinda gets one early in the movie as a part of her transformation to a common American schoolgirl. She mourns the loss of her long hair quite a bit.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: General Kane tosses his rapier straight at Rosalinda's crown, pinning it to the pillar behind her — note that the crown was already on Rosalinda's head, still held by the hands of the official who crowned her, and that Kane stood at a place and angle where nobody in the court room could even see him coming in.
  • Innocent Beta Bitch: Brooke, who often have a naive, sweet behavior. Finally she ends up disgusted by Chelsea's attitude and turn her back on her.
  • Instant Expert: Rosie masters bowling almost immediately, to everyone astonishment.
  • Interclass Friendship: Rosalinda as the princess of a small nation and Carter, the bait shop salesgirl.
  • Irrational Hatred: Carter has this, rather inexplicably, towards anything related to princesses. Her being bullied by the school's resident mean girls probably has something to do with it. She gets over it.
  • Jerkass: Several.
    • Carter at first, as she is quite condescending to Rosie for her lack of everyday knowledge and her Innocently Insensitive attitude, not to mention her extreme prejudices against anything associated with princesses. She eventually grows kinder and becomes friends with Rosie.
    • Chelsea, who humiliates Rosie and ruins her and Carter's prom dresses, treats her classmates and even friends like her personal slaves, tries to make the homecoming dance all about staging her big entrance, and eventually blackmails Rosie.
    • Donny, who easily goes along with all of Chelsea's behavior and asks Rosie out in front of Carter while he knows perfectly well that Carter has had a crush on him for years. He also strings Carter along by taking fish bait for free from her family shop but then doesn't keep his end of the bargain they'd agreed on, to take Carter to school in his car.
  • Keep It Foreign: The French class become an Italian class in the French version.
  • Large Ham: General Magnus Kane, big time, with exaggerated pronunciation and dramatic gestures every single second he's on-screen. His attempts at grandeur make it hard to take him seriously.
  • Laughably Evil: Magnus Kane again. He sure accomplishes a military coup in Costa Luna, but his over-the-top manners and his rather immature fantasizing about people worshipping him makes him come across like a self-deluded moron.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Carter, Donny, and Rosie. Despite Carter's interest in Donny, he shamelessly attempts to charm Rosie and openly flirts with her, and to make matters worse, asks Rosie to go to the dance with him while Carter is standing right next to her. Though surprised by this sudden offer, Rosie willingly turns him down for Carter's sake.
    Rose: *to Carter* [Donny] is very special to you. I see the way you look at him. It's the same way that Ed looks at you.
    • Also, from the beginning of the film, Carter has to (unsuccessfully) compete against mean girl Chelsea for the affections of Donny, who doesn't even remember her name or even bother to stand up for her when Chelsea picks on her. By the end, she comes to realize Donny's not worth it and rejects him at the dance when he finally takes an interest in her because she's dressed up.
  • Masquerade Ball: The homecoming dance was not originally supposed to be one of these, but Carter manages to turn it into one as part of her plan to protect Rosie.
  • Meaningful Name: Rosalinda literally means "Beautiful Rose" in Spanish. It's like they couldn't make their minds up between Belle and Briar Rose which, given that Rosie is technically a Disney Princess, is rather fitting.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: After the climax, a soaking wet and angry Chelsea still manages to take back "her" Homecoming Queen crown from Carter and Rosie, despite her obvious humiliation. Rosie tries to stop her but Carter tells her to let it go. It's not that much of a victory, as Chelsea has pretty much fallen from grace in the eyes of all of the school, and Carter really doesn't need a crown for her self-esteem to function.
  • Missing Mom: Carter's mother is never so much as mentioned.
  • The Mountains of Louisiana: The movie was filmed on the mountainous island of Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, it takes place in Louisiana, where any hills in proximity to a bayou rise no higher than about 10 feet (3 meters).
  • No Dress Code: Though only with Chelsea at prom. The other girls are dressed just fine, but with her, it's really extreme: She wears a strapless pink mini-dress, so mini that the skirt doesn't reach even halfway to her knees, and the top part barely holds her bust. This is supposed to be a 16-year-old girl.note  Even for a prom, there are certain lines a high school would draw.
  • No Social Skills: Rosalinda was raised by royalty and as a result doesn't know anything about how American teens act.
  • Princess Protagonist: Rosalinda's transition from life as a princess to life in rural Louisiana is the point of the movie.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: “A princess is supposed to be a girl of exemplary character, a role model. But you, you're not even kind, honest or charitable in any way. You're not even nice. I don't think I want to be your friend anymore.” —Brooke to Chelsea.
  • Relatively Flimsy Excuse: Carter is told to pretend that Rosalinda/Rosie is her cousin.
  • Satellite Love Interest: So why exactly is Carter into Donny? He turns out to be a Romantic False Lead anyway; Carter realizes that he's a dull, self-absorbed bore and gets over him. Though it's still odd that she didn't notice sooner, which even she admits.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: Rosie, as shows when she's confronted with everyday high school life and for the first time rides a school bus, eats in a cafeteria, and initially has the attitude that the school employees are "her staff". She can also be a tad obnoxious about this; she seems really confused about the idea of sharing a bedroom with Carter, rather than her having a claim on that room that is Carter's to begin with... not to mention she seems to expect Carter to wait on her. Once made aware of it, she actively works on the issue though, accompanying Carter to bowling and taking on a job.
  • Ship Tease: A little bit between Major Mason and Rosalinda's mother; she opens up to him about her worries regarding her daughter, and later gives Rosie to his care, apparently fully trusting him.
  • Skewed Priorities: Chelsea's (disturbing) fixation with winning Homecoming Queen leads her to threaten Rosie with blowing her cover if she does not step down from the competition. Granted, she could have asked for something so much worse, but endangering the life of a royal in hiding all for a plastic tiara is at best a bit stupid and at worst irresponsible. Just imagine if the press had gotten ahold of the story: Chelsea would have gone down in history as the sociopath who got Princess Rosalinda of Costa Luna murdered all because she wanted to win Homecoming Queen. Local news would have had a field day.
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: A non-nuptial example, the line is spoken by a priest during Rosalinda's crowning rehearsal, and he asks if someone object to her becoming the new queen. Of course, General Kane has objections.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Rosie, a princess with all the luxury in the world, who is also very compassionate towards everyone from all walks of life.
  • Supreme Chef: Rosie, to Carter and her father surprise. Turn out she knows how to cook, thanks to her mother who taught her family recipes. It's due to the queen being raised as a peasant, suggesting her story with the king was of the Uptown Boy type.
  • Theme Naming: Costa Luna and Costa Estrella mean "Moon Coast" and "Star Coast", respectively.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Carter, who works at the bait shop, mostly runs around in old jeans and a basecap, and whose manners need some polishing, and Rosie, who has excellent manners, even in her civil alias nearly always wears dresses, has never done physical work in her entire life, and gets a bit of a panic about having a haircut.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Scenes of Rosie's coronation at the end were featured in the main trailer as well as certain promos. Even the image for the box art (as seen above) shows Rosie as queen.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: According to Rosie, this is one of the principles by which a princess is supposed to live, which she demonstrates when she doesn't lash out against Chelsea for humiliating her, instead just calmly telling her off. Carter, on the other hand, isn't having any of that, aptly pointing out that she isn't a princess.
  • Two First Names: Carter Mason. Both names can be interchanged.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Chelsea suffers a pretty nasty one as her demeanor crumbles almost instantly the second Rosie wins the crown. She completely gives up her facade of a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing to the point that she confronts Rosie and starts becoming a freaked-out basket case while demanding she get the crown for herself (to the point that this continues even after she falls into the pool).
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: Rosie's country of Costa Luna is supposedly someplace in Latin America, but aside from the occasional Gratuitous Spanish quip, Rosie (and the country) is as European as your average Disney Princess. In contrast, Costa Estrella is a stereotypical Banana Republic.
  • Witless Protection Program: The climax happens because Chelsea figures out that Rosie is Princess Rosalinda of Costa Luna from reading a magazine article and like the Alpha Bitch she is, calls up her country to let them know where Rosalinda is and they can come take her away so she can be unimpended as the dance queen, without knowing (or caring) that Costa Luna is undergoing a coup and Rosie is in the United States for a very good reason.