A Christmas Prince (ACP): Amber, played by iZombie's Rose McIver, a junior copy-editor looking to take her career to the next level: reporter. You know she's just a regular girl because she wears Converse sneakers. An only child.
My Christmas Prince (MCP): Samantha, portrayed by Pitch Perfect's Alexis Knapp, is a dedicated Manhattan teacher who is offered the chance to run the "Educate NYC summer initiative program." You know she's just a regular girl because her dad reveals that she never even dreamed of being a princess when she was a little girl. An only child.
ACP: "Flake. International playboy. Scandalous socialite." At least that's Prince Richard's (Ben Lamb) perceived public persona. He's really kind, compassionate and wants to rule from the heart...according to Amber's schmaltzy article.
ACP: Aldovia, a small country that looks like Romania. (Because the movie was filmed there, shockingly enough.)
The Local Hangout
ACP: Rudy's Diner in NYC, Amber's dad's diner where she ends up working when her journalism dreams are dashed. He is famous for his corn dogs, chili and pie.
MCP: Archie's Diner in Maple Falls, where Samantha always grabs dinner with her family on Wednesday night.
ACP: Technically, Amber IS the media, as she's sent to Aldovia to get the royal scoop at the behest of her editor, Max (rocking a truly memorable old-timey reporter accent), for Now Beat magazine. (It looks like a mix of Us Weekly and Tiger Beat.) We also get glimpses of Celebrity Tattle magazine and Lutfi magazine.
ACP: We briefly hear that Amber has not dated since her break-up with Bryan over a year ago, while Richard's attention-hungry and overly accessorized ex, Lady Sophia, shows up to stir up trouble...even after cheating on the prince.
MCP: Samantha used to date the police officer, Patrick, who pulled over Alex when he first arrived in Maple Falls. Meanwhile, the queen sends Clara, a baroness she's wanted Alex to wed for years, to Maple Falls to persuade him to choose his duties.
ACP: Amber's co-worker friends are a gay man ("He's, like, a 12. Honey, he's everyone's type!" Hi, Netflix, give us THAT movie) and a black woman.
MCP: Samantha's roommate/BFF is Leanne, also a black woman, who shows up in Maple Falls out of nowhere to offer support after the royal revelation.
The Christmas Spirit
ACP: Amber brings the holiday fun back into the castle, taking Richard's little sister Princess Emily, who is in a wheelchair because she has spina bifida, sleigh-riding and engaging in snowball fights. Plus, there's an annual Christmas Eve Ball and the royal family loves giving each other homemade gifts, like an acorn ornament that becomes ESSENTIAL to the plot.
MCP: Samantha introduces Alex to the "Christmas delight" pastry, which "tastes like eggnog" according to his royal highness. He also decorates a tree for the first time, goes on a holiday hay ride, and competes in a gingerbread house making competition.
The Royal Makeover
ACP: For the coronation at the annual Christmas Eve Ball, Amber is forced to ditch her sensible style for a gown, smoky eyes and fancy gloves, thanks to Princess Emily. But Amber still stays true to her self, revealing she is wearing her Converse sneakers underneath it all.
MCP: Samantha ditches her cowboy boots and plaid scarves for a sexy red number for the big Mistletoe Mambo. (Don't get any funny ideas, Meghan Markle.)
ACP: Amber's betrayal (she's a reporter digging up dirt on Prince Richard) is exposed by the conniving cousin after he finds the secret adoption papers in her room. Gasp!
MCP: Well, Alex lied about being a prince, but also when Clara shows up, he reveals the queen has always wanted him to marry her. Betrayal! (But not really!)
ACP: Though people are worried Richard will choose to abdicate the throne, it's later revealed he was actually adopted... and isn't the blood-heir after all...leaving his weasel of a cousin, Simon, as the next male heir. Or is he? An acorn eventually reveals the truth, as the King changed the law (Sure, why not?!) right before his death, but hid the evidence in the previously-mentioned acorn.
ACP: "The Palace is a lonely place for a king without a queen." That's what Richard tells Amber, offering the above ring, and also to come back to NYC as much as she wants. He also gives Rudy his own wing in the castle AND buys him a diner in Aldovia.
ACP: Netflix doesn't release any ratings information, but they did acknowledge that 53 people watched the original movie every day since it debuted on Nov. 18 in a buzzy tweet.
MCP: The movie's premiere on Sunday, Dec. 3 attracted 1.09 million viewers and a 0.23 in the adults 18-49 demo.
Meghan Markle Moment
ACP: "He can't marry some American commoner," the queen originally says.
MCP: Lady Sophia calls Amber a "peasant," with Prince Richard telling her to join the "21st century."
Winner: A Christmas Prince! Netflix's foray into original Christmas movies was truly a memorable one, so much so that we can't help but wonder if it was meant as a parody? Also working in its favor? Its director Alex Zamm previously directed TWO other royal-related Christmas TV movies (Crown For Christmas and A Royal Christmas). You could even say he's cheesy Christmas movie royalty?
A Christmas Prince is available to steam on Netflix, while My Christmas Prince is available to watch on Lifetime's official site.