Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Princess Diaries

Alexis Dromgoole

The Princess Diaries

 The trailer for Princess Diaries gives off a certain relatability quality with the dreams of main character Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) to be popular and famous, when in reality she is a typical awkward teenager.  This is a similar emotional experience, shared by almost every youth worldwide (pathos).  As seen in Andrea Lunsford’s Everything’s An Argument, “…emotions can add real muscle to arguments…”, and that is exactly what these emotions of uncertainty in youth and fantasizing about your dream life do to encourage the young audience to come see the film (103).  As soon the words “From the Director of Pretty Woman” appear, immediately every woman’s eyes are glued to the screen.  First and foremost, the audience notices the decorative font style being used to entice the viewer in by giving off a feminine appeal.  “The serifs are those little flourishes at the ends of the strokes that make the fonts seem handcrafted and artful” (Lunsford 456).  Even something as small as the font of the text invites the reader in because the eye is immediately drawn to the creative writing style that adds an aspect of femininity to the trailer.  Secondly, the iconic movie name of Pretty Woman is comparable to that of Dirty Dancing’s in that even if you haven’t seen Pretty Woman, you know the story well enough to know it is a classic, establishing the ethos/logos of the film by citing that since the film is directed by the same director, this movie should be equally as good.  For those who have seen Pretty Woman, the main ideas of the films parallel one another.  Princess Diaries has a slightly more juvenile theme than Pretty Woman, but it contains the same basic concept of a “diamond in the rough” who is going to find her true beauty, real identity, and maybe some romance in the end.  Projecting the fresh faced Anne Hathaway as comparable to the established Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, is a way to establish the credibility (ethos) of the film as well as play on the previous emotions (pathos) felt by those who have seen or heard of the romantic and endearing tale of Pretty Woman, and encourage the audience to venture to see this modern day rendition of sorts. 

The feature film takes advantage of some of America’s favorite childhood memories by introducing Academy Award winner Julie Andrews (from the classic film Marry Poppins) into the main scenes of the trailer.  From Louis Gi\annetti’s Understanding Movies: Casting, we know that “Casting is Characterization.”  Once an actor is cast into their role that is how the audience sees them until the last reel of film rolls through and beyond that because they become those characters for one to two hours in the real lives of the audience (282).  The world will never forget the lessons Julie Andrews taught us in previous films and they still see her as an all knowing, heroine guiding the audience through yet another story, this time as a Queen.  Using Julie Andrews and her Academy Award winning status establishes the ethos and logos of the movie because with an award winning actress who is so well known, the movie must be worth seeing.  From this trailer full of laughs and scenes filled with embarrassing moments of the main character, stumbling her way down the stairs of  her newly discovered life, both literally and metaphorically, the audience can see that this will be a comedy for anyone who can ever remember growing up as a klutzy, unsure teen.  Humor is used to resonate with people and their positive emotions of joy, and happiness which makes the public more receptive to the message of the movie and more eager to see the film (pathos) (Lunsford 48).  The audience will not only be almost wholly comprised of females, but by females of all ages dying to see this new “chick-flick”.  Mothers will surely take their daughters to experience the magical presence of Julie Andrews that they all know and love, the enduring story of a girl trying to find herself as a woman, and the opportunity to witness a female star be born for the new generation in Anne Hathaway, under the guidance of the respected Julie Andrews and in the parallel of the talented Julia Roberts.


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