|'princesses 'Lizabet' and Margaret find themselves amongst London's riff raff, who immediately attempt to drug, rape and generally make merry with them'|
Next in line for a Christmas Eve outing on ITV (arguably the place it should have been seen in the first place ), it's hard to deny the occasional charm of A Royal Night Out, thinly sketched Royalist propaganda though it may be.
Absconding from their stewards during a rare sojurn outside the palace walls on VE night, princesses 'Lizabet' (Sarah Gadon) and Margaret (Bel Powley) find themselves amongst London's riff raff, who immediately attempt to drug, rape and generally make merry with them. Based on a real occurrence (in so far as, yes, the princesses did occasionally go outside), it's a safe bet that the majority of the content here is as close to accurate as your average Uwe Boll film.
Not that that inherently matters, though the depiction of a celebrating London as a collection of caricatures intent on shagging anything that moves needs some work. When they're not doing that, the newly-saved populace appear intent on fighting, chopping off horses heads, bribery or setting a record for champagne-swilling, whilst the ruling class wander around with newly opened eyes, never to set foot on these common shores again.
Well Powley manages some charm on her own as lispy, innocently-adventurous Margaret (clearly channelling a version of Violet Beauregarde), sensible Liz (well, we couldn't have had a risqué depiction of the current monarch now, could we?) undergoes a story reliant on bolshie airman Jack (Jack Reynor) whose characterisaton suits the moment and nothing more. One minute he's belligerent and uncaring, the next he's picking Elizabeth out of the dirt and donating money to the cause.
His diamond in the rough characterisation only works when we eventually meet his mother (Ruth Sheen), when the Sunday night TV element of the Drama makes the strongest case for successful inclusion. Along the way Roger Allam appears to finally add some humour to the broad and joyless caricatures, but he departs quickly as the film hops from non-event to non-event. The finale shoots for accepting wistfulness, but instead hits on the problem; there's no connection here, to anyone, that's really worth caring about for very long.