2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Prince and the What?,
This review is from: The Prince and the Surfer (DVD)
This movie hasn't been reviewed since 1999! I wonder why not, it is certainly worth paying $9.99 for. I think Mark Twain would be well pleased to see his famous story The Prince and the Pauper transferred to the competitive, yet laidback world of teenage surfers down in Santa Monica, California. Wasn't Twain from California in the first place? Or the second place? I missed the very beginning, the Timothy Bottoms is an ex cop turned security guard hired to protect the royal family of Gelfland as they visit some sort of beach resort in Palm Bay, while entering into some delicate trade negotiations with a foul, multinational leisure corporation that plans to turn their whole country into a theme park called Golfland! This would be enough to turn off most viewers, but on the other hand there's a lot of fun in the movie too. Bottoms doesn't know that the lady-in-waiting he meets outside the queen's gate is actually Queen Albertina herself, trying to disguise her royalty for some reason. Maybe she wanted the chance to feel what life is like for an ordinary person, sort of the way Audrey Hepburn does in ROMAN HOLIDAY. (Oh, I see another reviewer pointed up the ROMAN HOLIDAY influence already.)
Albertina is played by the stunning Jennifer O'Neill of SUMMER OF 42 fame. O'Neill was 51 when she made THE PRINCE AND THE SURFER but she looks about 32 or 33, I don't know how she did it because this was one movie where they did not spend a lot of money on makeup or flattering costumes, but she is enchanting in every scene, even the montage where Timothy Bottoms teaches her how to play mini-golf. Directors must love montages, but I always think, they must be hell of the actors, who have to play the equivalent of 12 or 15 scenes in a condensed 2 minute running time, and sail right through the entire gamut of human emotion!
There is also a plot involving unknown Seth Kellman, who plays not only O'Neill's teen son the Prince, but he plays Cash Canty, the teen age surfer son of Tim Bottoms. I never did find lout why the two mature lovers each have a son who look enough alike to pass for twins. Kind of a coincidence, isn't it? For that I subtract one star because it makes your head hurt trying to figure it out. Add a star however, for the appearance of super young Linda Cardellini, playing what amounts to pretty much the same character (Lindsay Weir, be still my heart) as she did on FREAKS AND GEEKS. Basically it's an extended FREAKS AND GEEKS episode; the people who make the deluxe editions of FREAKS AND GEEKS DVD boxed sets should seriously consider including THE PRINCE AND THE SURFER as an extra. It is essential Cardellini just as it is essential Jennifer O'Neill.