The razor scooters. The art exercise where you throw darts at balloons filled with paint. The M&M’s on pizza. THE STANG. The foot-popping-good kiss. The Princess Diaries has so many incredible elements as evidence for its early-2000s greatness. And while main character Mia ends up being the movie’s awkward, sparkly-nail-polish-wearing, corn-dog-eating princess, I think her best friend, Lilly Moscovitz, is the movie’s real queen.
How often can you watch a character that can rock the quadruple-pigtail look while also very passionately petitioning for Greenpeace? She produces and anchors her own cable-TV show, titled “SHUT UP AND LISTEN”, an iconic addition to the film. She is the best friend, the side character to Mia, yet she commands the scenes she is in with ladyboss-esque confidence.
Even when Lilly is being overbearing, she realises her fault. Her best friend is so important to her, evident after their squabble when Lilly criticises Mia’s makeover. “l don’t know where you are these days and now you’re turning into an A-crowd wannabe? You’re morphing into one of them!” she scrutinises. Of course, Lilly is being a little much, but can you blame her? After feeling like Mia has been pulling away from her, being super secretive, she sees that Mia has adopted the style of the exact people that make her feel like a freak. So, she overreacts. But once Mia explains the situation, Lilly wholeheartedly understands, even defending her best friend during class that day when “they” make fun of her new look.
While Mia feels invisible due to her nerdiness, Lilly embraces it and uses it to her advantage. As a teen, this is an incredibly hard thing to do, especially when the people around her are so quick to judge. Seeing a girl on screen that is never afraid of being completely herself was so important to me as I was growing up, surviving middle school, and entering high school. I often would re-watch the movie, enamoured with Lilly’s confidence and coolness. Sure, she has many faults that go along with being a teenager, but ultimately, her commitment to being herself is her most valuable and influential attribute.
By Olivia Kelliher
Olivia is an 18 year old from the US, originally from Chicago but currently attending film school in Boston with hopes of becoming a screenwriter. One day, she hopes she will write a film so insightful that her parents will think maybe letting her live a thousand miles away from them as a teenager was worth it. She likes movies with lots of words or at least a few words that mean something. Whip it, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Beginners, and A League of Their Own are some of her favorites.