The Best Vacation Flick?: Monte Carlo (2011)

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Thomas Bezucha’s 2011 comedy ‘Monte Carlo’ stars Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, and Katie Cassidy in which a dream holiday to Paris turns into a story of mistaken identity, romance, and jewel recovery while Catherine Tate saves the day. It is also the film my sister and I have returned to more often than any other. Although very much a film of its time in some areas – the leading ladies’ glamourous entrance to the Monegasque ball is scored by ‘Bright Lights Bigger City’ by CeeLo Green – there is a vintage quality to everything which supplies it with a lot of charm.

The film benefits from a steady pace and focus. Grace, played by Selena Gomez, is the primary lead while Leighton Meester plays her step-sister, Meg, and Katie Cassidy plays Grace’s friend, and a previous classmate of Meg, Emma. Naturally, the three girls have moments of both argument and warmth throughout the film and end up discovering more about what they may truly want out of life however much of the development is organic and the time spent between the three is sweet rather than clich├ęd. There is balance rather than clutter as the weighting of each subplot – did I mention that there are three romances in this film – is roughly equal. While Grace’s mistaken identity and romance is the thread driving the plot, the three can all be enjoyed.

Monte Carlo is not a groundbreaking film or a deep blockbuster home to a brigade of theories however it is a lovely summer film with both the warmth of the French Riviera and the sweet friendships and romances. Check it out for a bit of glamour, high-society fantasy and shots of Paris and Monaco.

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Deputy Editor and third year history student. Interested in all sorts but particularly film & TV history, lost media, fashion and literature.

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