A Royal Night Out is incredibly silly. It’s whimsical tale of royal liberation with total disregard for any historical accuracy if it gets in the way of a better story. Celebrating VE day, Princesses Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) and Margaret (Bel Powley) persuade their mother and father, the King (Rupert Everett) and Queen (Emily Watson) to allow them to go out with the masses to celebrate. Managing to slip their bumbling chaperones, the princesses enjoy a night of tipsy shenanigans, romance and bus journeys.
The bare bones of the story is true, the rest pure fantasy. Upon exiting the cinema, one patron said to their partner “well, it was like a kids film”, an initially surprising reaction but really rather accurate representation of just how silly the whole thing is, although at least most kids films have some sort of underlying meaning or message, A Royal Night Out is completely superficial. The feeling of national relief and celebration never reaches beyond the most trite and wooden representations. It’s a bumbling, bemusing farce which manages to outstay its welcome. A great big royal, b-movie of a movie, immature and unable to find any intended audience.
Review by David Rank
A Royal Night Out is out on 15th May in the UK. Running time 97 mins. Certificate 12A (UK).