Princess Caraboo

Director: Michael Austin

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Though I found Princess Caraboo (1994) in many ways too emptyheaded & cute, it nevertheless charmed me. Set early in the 1800s, a mysterious young woman (Phoebe Cates) is found wandering about in a strange costume, speaking in an incomprehensible unknown language.

She is assumed to be a foreign princess & taken into a wealthy mansion as a guest. Samuel & Elizabeth Worrall (Jim Broadbent & Wendy Hughes) keep her in the style to which they suppose her to be accustomed.

Professor Wilkinson (John Lithgow) sorts through the clues of her language & origins, which it is deduced was an island kingdom somewhere in the Indian Ocean, from which she was taken by pirates. But one person suspects a hoax (Stephen Rea as the journalist John Gutch).

Beginning with the tone of a fairy tale, the mystery of the Princess resolves with a good dose of humor & romance. Superior acting all around & an intelligent script, the innocence of the tale begs it be viewed as a family film that will engage young & old equally. The film's story is based in large strokes on the historical case of Mary Baker (1791-1864).

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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