World War II is finally over and all of London is preparing for a huge party. Princess Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) and Princess Margaret (Bel Powley) would like to join into the festivities, incognito. The King (Rupert Everett) and Queen (Emily Watson) are not really convinced that it’s a good idea, but then give in anyway. Chaperoned by Lieutenatns Pryce (Jack Laskey) and Burridge (Jack Gordon) they make their way into the city. Soon enough though, they not only escape their chaperones but also lose each other. Elizabeth recruits soldier Jack (Jack Reynor) to help her get Margaret home in one piece and before their curfew.
A Royal Night Out was a sweet, fun film that takes absolutely no (narrative) risks whatsoever, transforming the royal family almost ino superhumans in their attempt to be pleasing.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the film. It had nice pacing, was funny and well-made. Both Sarah Gadon and Bel Powley were excellent (although admittedly, Bel Powley stole the limelight a bit by managing to make Margaret an interesting mix of naive and weary), and Rupert Everett and Emily Watson were so good, it was almost disappointing that they only played supporting characters.
But none of the royal family really had any flaw, anything that may be, in a certain light, unlikeable, particularly not Elizabeth who is regal, yet accessible; critical, yet loyal; intelligent and opinionated – and all for the good of her country and others around her. Plus she looks like Sarah Gadon which means that she’s almost too beautiful. She makes not one wrong decision, not one wrong step in the entire film (Margaret has to fill the role of catalyst for every unwise moment).
It would have been nice if the royals, too, would have been acknowledged has humans instead of making them seem like supreme beings. But I’m probably only saying that because I’m not British and certainly not a Royalist.
In any case, as a piece of shallow entertainment, A Royal Night Out was perfectly satisfactory. If you wanted more, you’d be searching for it for a long time as for everything else, the film lacks criticism.