Sometimes, the studios get things right. I watched Monte Carlo with a smile on my face for almost the entire length of the movie. It is warm, it is fun, and it is my official selection as the feel-good movie of the year so far.
A recent high school graduate and two friends go to Paris where the grad is mistaken for a runaway heiress. She reluctantly carpes the diem and steps in to the heiress' life. This is hardly a new formula but Monte Carlo does it with style, never getting too sentimental or slapstick. Many things could have gone wrong making Monte Carlo, but it seems none of them did.
Selena Gomez plays the doppelganger/gangee, and was in last summer's feel good movie, Ramona and Beezus. Selena would appear to have a great future in romantic comedies. Her friends are played by Katie Cassidy, whom I've only seen in one other thing, and Leighton Meester, who seems to appear in every movie that Natalie Portman isn't in. Slow down, kid. They are both refreshing as the polar opposites who have their own adventures while participating in the impersonation. Again, they could have easily gone over the top, but showed restraint and elegance to help us take the movie seriously.
All-in-all, Monte Carlo - the movie - looks like a nice place to visit.
The enjoyment quotient of Monte Carlo might have been helped by one of the previews before the show.* It was promoting a drama about a romance between Amy Adams and Jason Segal gone awry. Or did it? It's really a preview for a new Muppets movie and after Segal looks at the audience and asks in disbelief, "Are there Muppets in this movie?" all heck breaks loose. Could be fun. Definitely a good warm up for Monte Carlo.
* Yes, I realize that's redundant.