This is the best fairy tale movie ever. Penelope, the main character (“the princess” so to speak) is cursed by a mistake a family member made long ago to have the face of a pig, until “one of her own” accepts her. (That is to say, a blue blood)
And her “prince”, the one who genuinely cares about her, rejects her, because he’s not a blue blood and he can’t break her curse and he wants her to be with a man who isn’t a common gambling addict. He wants her to be with someone who can break her curse. (A blue blood, even though he knows that blue blood is an ass, just because he thinks it’s what she wants)
He gives up his own happiness, genuinely gives it up, to make her happy.
And you know who breaks the curse?
Not the prince or the “prince”.
Penelope breaks her curse when she, she, accepts herself. She realizes that she likes herself just fine, and fuck everyone else, she will not marry a man she doesn’t love to change her damn face, she won’t swallow her own wants and needs just be accepted by society as a whole. She has her friends who think she’s great and she knows her own value. And she says “I like myself the way I am!” It’s a statement. A declaration. She likes herself. She, a blue blood, accepts herself, and she will not marry someone she doesn’t love just to appease society (or her mother). She’s okay. She likes herself.
And that’s what breaks the curse. Penelope is the princess who breaks her own damn curse, just by accepting herself. She doesn’t need a prince. She never did.
We see her get a job after she breaks the curse too, be a horticulturist like she dreamed before, and be a science teacher. We see her find her own happiness before she goes out and finds her prince, who isn’t really a prince, just a guy, and tells him she cares about him.
This whole movie is a princess being dynamic for once and it’s wonderful.