By Terry Kelleher
November 23, 1998 12:00 PM

PBS (Sun., Nov. 22, 9 p.m. ET)

Mobil Masterpiece Theatre host Russell Baker, not one for big buildups anyway, doesn’t oversell The Prince of Hearts. He introduces it as “a fairy tale with some jabs at the royal family.” In other words don’t expect a masterpiece—just a likable, lightweight romantic comedy. Robson Green (Touching Evil) plays a working-class cop assigned to serve as bodyguard to a British prince (Rupert Penry-Jones) attending the University of Cambridge. The prince and the policeman both have a thing for an attractive American student (Tara Fitzgerald), but the bodyguard’s sense of duty requires him to hide his feelings and school the virginal royal in the art of wooing with words. It’s all very Cyrano de Bergerac, as the script goes out of its way to make obvious. If you’re looking for that famous British subtlety, this won’t be your cup of tea. But Green’s manly frustration is on the mark, and Penry-Jones is funny as the clueless child of purple privilege.

Bottom Line: Enjoyable British trifle

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