RATING |

In the notoriously sleazy world of modern movies, marriage and manners are making a comeback.

Edward and Bella, still only necking in "Twilight," have done about a billion dollars worldwide, providing a template for movies like "Ode," in which young lovers consummate their feelings with poetry.

Older lovers are not to be left out - "Julie and Julia" offered a rare portrait of a durable, happy marriage.

Love, respect, romance, partnership, teamwork - "Young Victoria" gives you all that in one package, with a monarchy thrown in.

Emily Blunt stars as a teenage Princess Victoria of Kent, next in line in 1837 to the throne of her childless, ailing uncle King William (Jim Broadbent).

Victoria's scheming mother (Miranda Richardson) and political ally Sir John Conroy (Mark Strong) want to rule as regents in the event of William's death, so they pressure the inexperienced Victoria to sign a document delaying her ascension to the throne.

At the same time, the pretty, eligible, and soon-to-be-powerful Victoria is besieged by royal suitors from all over Europe. Among the most handsome is Belgium's Prince Albert (Rupert Friend), himself under incredible pressure from royal relatives to woo Victoria and make this invaluable alliance with powerful England.

Glossy and grand-looking, "The Young Victoria" smoothly combines the rituals of royal courtship with the details of intrigue that surround her - the movie has a light tone that borders on romantic comedy, and that complements Blunt ("The Devil Wears Prada") nicely. (For the darker, bloodier version, check out "Elizabeth.")

Blunt has a playful quality suited to Victoria's age and love of romantic gamesmanship. She likes Albert, but is also influenced by the handsome prime minister Lord Melbourne (Paul Bettany), who sees Albert as a rival to his access to Victoria.

Albert has not much power of his own - he knows that Victoria is the prize in the proposed match - but he has character. His patience, consideration and honesty become increasingly attractive to Victoria, and to the audience.

A savvy mom looking for a holiday movie date with her daughter could do much worse.