The Princess and the Marine is a 2001 American made-for-television romantic drama film based on the true story of American Marine Jason Johnson and Bahraini Princess Meriam Al-Khalifa, with stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Marisol Nichols in the roles of Jason and Meriam.
Meriam Al Khalifa (Marisol Nichols) is a Bahraini royal who is not content to be in an arranged marriage, even though her strict Muslim parents would never allow a union with a non-Muslim. In the movie, Meriam is allowed to go to the local mall and watch and listen to American pop culture.
One day, she desperately makes some random calls to strangers, including a Marine stationed at the US embassy named Jason Johnson (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). After meeting, the two become friends and later fall in love, but Meriam does not tell anyone because of her parents. After being caught kissing at the Tree of Life, her mother forbids any more contact between the two. Meriam and Jason exchange letters with the help of a jeweller in the mall, and plan to run away to America with a fake passport for Meriam and pass her off as a fellow Marine.
Once in America, Meriam is taken in by the local authorities for being an illegal immigrant and is separated from Jason. Meriam is released after asking for asylum, saying she would be disowned or even killed if she returned to Bahrain. Meriam and Jason marry in Las Vegas, and he is demoted to the rank of Private.
The film concludes with Meriam and Jason stationed at a base, looking outside at an American flag, while a Marine holding a copy of the Quran salutes. It is then that Meriam tells Jason that this is what she believes in (America – freedom).
- Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Jason Johnson.
- Marisol Nichols as Meriam Al-Khalifa.
- Luck Hari as Meriam’s mother.
- Alexis Lopes as Latifa.
- Keith Robinson as Trucker.
- Sheetal Sheth as Layla.
Marisol Nichols was nominated for ALMA Awards-Outstanding Actress for her role in this movie.
- In real life, Meriam is finally granted asylum in 2001 because it was too dangerous for her to return to Bahrain.
- However, she returns to visit her family, in Bahrain later that year.
- Meriam and Jason divorced in 2004.
Production & Filming Details
- Mike Robe.
- Mary Aloe … executive producer.
- Tom Colbert … executive producer.
- Preston Fischer … producer.
- Stephanie Germain … executive producer.
- Ronni Kern … co-producer.
- Deborah Edell Underwood … associate producer.
- Ronni Kern.
- Laura Karpman.
- Edward J. Pei (as Ed Pei).
- Sabrina Plisco (as Sabrina Plisco-Morris).
- Aloe Entertainment.
- Columbia TriStar Television.
- Proud Mary Entertainment.
- Stephanie Germain Productions.
- National Broadcasting Company (NBC) (2001) (USA) (TV) (original airing).
- ProSieben (2004) (Germany) (TV).
- Release Date: 18 February 2001 (US).
- Rating: PG.
- Running Time: 82 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.