Garry Marshall and Julie Andrews make no apologies for
their sentimental sequel The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
By Chris Betros
|Director Garry Marshall
and Julie Andrews
Theres no mistaking a Garry Marshall film in Japan.
The Japanese title always has the word pretty
in it. First, there was Pretty Woman, then Pretty Bride (for
Runaway Bride), followed by Pretty Princess (The Princess
Diaries) and now its sequel, Pretty Princess 2 (The Princess
Diaries 2: Royal Engagement), which reunites the director
with Julie Andrews.
Its easy to do a sequel when you had such a great
time on the first one, said the 69-year-old star. This
time, Queen Clarissa (Andrews) of the itsy-bitsy European
principality of Genovia has to groom her klutzy American granddaughter
Mia (Ann Hathaway) to be the future ruler. But an old Genovian
law requires Mia to be wed within 30 days or else she forfeits
the throne. Although some critics have called it schmaltz,
Marshall and Andrews both counter that it is a non-violent
film that the whole family can enjoy together and come out
Andrews remains immensely popular in Japan with women who
grew up in the 60s. Coinciding with her visit were special
DVD releases to mark the 40th anniversary of her two most
successful filmsMary Poppins (1964) and The Sound of
Music (1965). Video clips of the two films seemed to be playing
wherever she went. I am just so lucky to have been asked
to be in those two films, she said.
An added bonus for her fans is that in Princess Diaries, she
gets to do something she hasnt done since having throat
surgery in 1997sing for about a minute. Its
nice of you to call it singing, but it wasnt really,
she said in a raspy voice. It was more singing-speaking.
Garry asked me to try and they wrote a song especially for
Marshall is known for paying that kind of attention to his
stars needs and has launched many on their way to successamong
them Ron Howard, Robin Williams and Julia Roberts. A former
drummer in a jazz band and stand-up comedian, he wrote material
for TV programs such as The Lucy Show and The Dick Van Dyke
Show, before scoring a string of successes as executive producer
of such TV series as The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Laverne and
Shirley and Mork and Mindy.
His films are invariably sentimental. Cinderella was
my favorite story. I may make a serious film one day, but
there is so much sadness in the world that if I can make you
smile, thats good enough for me. Furthermore,
he likes to feature female protagonists. I have been
married to a wonderful woman for 42 years, I grew up with
two sisters, and I have two daughters and two granddaughters.
What can I say? I love women.
St. Patricks Pre-Party
Sponsors celebrate at the Irish Embassy Residence
from top left: Irish Ambassador Padraig Murphy with Irish
Network Japan Chairman Derrick A. Fitzgerald; last years
St. Patrick, David Groff, with this years, Robert
Hamilton; Irish dancer Hiroko Konno with Paddy Foleys
Manager Neil Day; Japan Guardian Angels Daiki Miyazaki
and Chikako Kamata
Photos by Steve Trautlein
Daniela Papi & Greta Arnquist
Charity cyclists heading for
tour of Cambodia
Two of four women preparing for the PEPY Ride, Daniela Papi
and Greta Arnquist, are seeking help and support before their
What is the PEPY Ride?
We are going to cycle to remote villages in Cambodia, stopping
to teach about prevalent environmental and health issues at
local schools and orphanages.
What does PEPY stand for?
Protect the Earth. Protect Yourself.
How did you get involved in this project?
Daniela visited Cambodia two years ago and was really moved
by the people there. Last summer she rode through Japan on
an environmental education bike ride, which gave her the idea
of how we could help Cambodia in a similar way. Greta had
volunteered in Cambodia before, so together we developed the
What are your main goals?
Before we leave, we want to raise at least US$16,000 to build
a school in Cambodia. The money will be given to American
Assistance for Cambodia, an internationally acclaimed non-profit
program that has already built 200 schools across the country.
On the tour, we want to teach about health and the environment
at least 15 schools and orphanages. The Khmer Rouge destroyed
the educational structure in Cambodia, and the people are
still struggling to build a system where all children can
attend school. As teachers, we believe education is the key
to a brighter future for Cambodias children.
Why the bicycle?
Were a BEE ride. That stands for Bicycle for Everyones
Earth, a group that promotes sustainable living and encourages
cycling as an environmentally friendly form of transportation.
How can others help?
We are halfway to our fundraising goal, but we still need
a lot of help. Also, we are looking for people to help with
sponsorship and press, and for locations where we can give
or visit www.pepyride.org
for information or to make a donation.
Would you like to comment on this article?
Send a letter to the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.