Despite its misfit-turned-princess premise, The Princess Diaries isn’t just another babe-behind-the-glasses movie. Fifteen-year-old Mia (Anne Hathaway), who lives in a funky San Francisco apartment with her artist mom (Caroline Goodall), is a believable candidate for a fairy-tale ugly-duckling transformation. Her problem isn’t nerdiness, exactly—though her mound of frizzy hair and not-yet-grown-into features are unlike those of her classmates and therefore seen as unattractive. And she doesn’t lack for brains or a sense of humor, either. What plagues Mia is the curse of invisibility: Teachers don’t remember her name, people sit on her, and that cute boy with the sun streaks in his hair, well, he just about runs her over on the way to class. Pleasant and funny around adults and her best nerd friend, Lilly (stock weird girl Heather Matarazzo of Welcome to the Dollhouse), Mia nonetheless makes herself sick with anxiety when she has to speak in front of a group and prefers not to call any attention to herself during the school day. Then her absentee father dies, and her grandmother (Julie Andrews, in her first Disney feature since Mary Poppins) lets her in on a family secret: Her dad was the crown prince of Genovia, and Mia is next in line for the throne. She’s horrified at the thought of being thrust into a spotlight—and Queen Grandma is equally appalled at her sloppy American mannerisms—but they set out to polish Mia into a presentable royal in time for an upcoming state dinner, at which the teenager will have to announce whether she’s going to accept sovereignty. At two hours, the movie is a little long for a kids’ flick, but Andrews’ glowing presence and Hathaway’s letter-perfect performance as the cool, pretty girl who hasn’t yet discovered that she’s either make the few nonessential scenes (such as an out-of-the-blue seductive dance number between the queen and her bodyguard) and the occasionally groan-inducing dialogue (“I just consider myself royally flushed,” says a rejected paramour) forgivable. —Tricia Olszewski