One of the saddest things about The Princess and the Frog’s reception, for me at least, is how the fandom latches onto Lottie. Not that she isn’t charming or different or refreshing; she is, but she was more than that in the movie.
Lottie was that pampered, well-meaning, but often exhausting and ignorant friend who was completely oblivious to Tiana’s predicament. The anguish Tiana felt at losing her restaurant deal and the general isolation Tiana feels because of how hard she pushes herself to work are things that Lottie doesn’t understand.
Tiana is overlooked, undervalued, and Lottie usually has to be smacked in the face with something before she goes to help Tiana. I get the whole “she really did care about Tiana in the end” thing. But Lottie never offered to sponsor her restaurant, get involved in her dreams, etc.
Perhaps Lottie was Tiana’s best friend, but not in the sense that they shared everything or that Tiana felt true support. Tiana listens to Lottie’s inane concerns and has little time to talk about herself on an even footing because Lottie just takes up so much time.
Tiana, who puts herself into so much of everything, who is so often given the short end of the stick will silently listen to Lottie talk about how she wants to meet a prince when all Tiana wants to do is not lose everything for which she’s worked so hard.
So, what saddens me is that Lottie who is depicted as a foil for Tiana in the movie, as the focus, the belle, the vivacious and inattentive friend, gets so much attention from the fandom because her depiction specifically highlights how undervalued Tiana is.
You know the thing about good food? It brings folks together from all walks of life. It warms them right up and it puts little smiles on their faces. And when I open up my own restaurant, I tell you, people are gonna line up for miles around, just to get a taste of my food.