On the evening of Victory in Europe Day 1945, peace is reached across the globe, and celebrations are in order for a country which has been long under the strains of war.
Princess Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) and Princess Margaret (Bel Powley) are royal teenage sisters, who plead to their parents in typical childlike fashion to be let out to join the party beyond their kingdom walls.
Queen Elizabeth is stern in her appraisal that her girls will not be leaving the palace grounds; however King George overrules as the pair will always be daddy’s little angels, caving in to their persistence on the condition that army officers accompany them as chaperones.
Even though they begin the evening undercover and incognito to their regal status, trouble ensues and the girls experience an array of dangerous situations, more excitement than they could have imagined.
Cue fantastic Glenn Miller musical arrangements and dance house swing moves, the era is authentically recreated from the cobblestone streets to detailed textiles of costume design. Most effective is the unchallenging comedic moments or one-liners that work in the most quaint way, keeping things moving as the girls separate and party hard (in their own unique way). Love is also in the air with more than a few unsuspecting men in uniform.
Some slight of hand romance is also part of proceeding, but this is all I will reveal as without much expectation it’s surprisingly involving and a welcomed fresh addition to the ever expanding British period film and television canon.
Bel Powley (The Bill, Little Dorrit) is an immaculate delight and one to watch as Princess Margaret, sweet natured and natural in her innocence. Above average performances from veteran thespians Emily Watson (Gosford Park), who has remarkable resemblance to the Queen mum; while as the stammering King, the one and only Rupert Everett can do anything with superiority. From starring opposite rocker Bob Dylan (Hearts of Fire) and Madonna (Next Best Thing) two of the worst received films of all time (I actually enjoyed them) to being the defining character in My Best Friends Wedding, his appearance in this is pivotal to establish the fun of the unlikely premise.
Entertaining, romantic, and elaborate, this is a British romp that is impossible not to enjoy.
A Royal Night Out is now playing in Australia and the UK.