What a Girl Wants (DVD, 2009, WS) Reviews
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What a Girl Wants (DVD, 2009, WS)

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Amanda Bynes Knows What A Girl Wants

Mar 29, 2003
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Amanda Bynes does a good job as a modern day Cinderella.

Cons:Oh, you know what's going to happen before it happens....

The Bottom Line: If you liked Cinderella and The Princess Diaries, you'll enjoy this movie.

Heads Up!

I'm emotional tonight (PMS Week).
I've always wanted to be Cinderella.
I still believe in happily ever after.

All of this explains why I liked this movie so much.

The Story
Daphne Reynolds (Amanda Bynes) and her mother Libby (Kelly Preston) have been doing just fine as a twosome in New York. As Daphne decides on her next steps after high school, she thinks about the father - Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth) - that she never got to know.

She decides that before it's time for college, she needs to meet her father - now a Lord and important English politician. Daphne flies over to the other side of the ocean and learns that her father has a fiancee (Anna Chancellor) and soon to be step-daughter (Christina Cole).

Can Daphne fit in with the aristocratic ways of her father's family? Will she be able to win her father's heart without compromising who she is?

Well gee, what do you think?!

I Liked It Because....
I just did - take my word for it ;).

What A Girl Wants isn't - despite popular thinking - based upon Christina Aguilera's same-named song. Oh no. This is actually a re-make of 1958 movie called, The Reluctant Debutante. THAT movie was based upon a play by William Douglas Home. I've never seen the movie or the play so I have no clue how or if any of them match up to each other in content.

As I stated earlier, the story isn't anything new and/or ground-breaking. Why it appeals to me is because of the "dad" factor. If you grew up without a real father in your life, you always have a tendency to romanticize what it would be like to have one that ends up being just like Lord Dashwood. It's the kind of fantasy that can give you goosebumps IF the story is carried out appropriately (and it was here).

Director Dennie Gordon did one spectacular thing. He curbed the cheese level quite a bit. There were moments in the movie where we were on the brink of crossing that line but before we did, he moved on to another scene.

I've never seen Amanda Bynes perform although I am well aware that she is a regular staple on the Nickelodeon channel. When I saw her in print ads for this movie, I just didn't think she had the look to carry off this coming-of-age comedy. Well, I admit that I am wrong. Amanda was a breath of fresh air. Where others may have brought an over-the-top stupid/silly interpretation of the free-spirited Daphne, Amanda approached it like a normal teenager. Her character was grounded, but normal without being bratty. I found Amanda to be utterly charming, almost in the same way that Anne Hathaway was in The Princess Diaries however, with a tad bit more spunk to her.

I love Colin Firth. I was thrilled to see him play the "dad". He had a lot of good chemistry with Amanda and in addition, we get to see a comedic side to him that I don't recall ever seeing in any of his other movies.

Kelly Preston, who just came off of a bad Gwyneth movie - View From The Top, redeems herself here as Daphne's free-spirited mother. I enjoyed seeing Kelly play a mother and I didn't mind it one bit when she sang a couple of songs during the film. While she's no Sheryl Crow, at least she didn't embarrass herself :).

I'm happy to report that the powers that be, made some good decisions regarding the music in this movie. I just about came to tears when Duncan Sheik's, Half-Life started playing during a pivotal scene between father and daughter. Other songs that were in the movie and will make it on the soundtrack include: Who Invited You by The Donnas, What's Good For Me by Lucy Woodward, and London Calling by The Clash.

For Parents
What A Girl Wants is rated PG for mild language. There are a couple of kisses however, every one keeps their clothing on :). The "tweens" group, in addition to us die-hard Cinderella chicks, will definitely enjoy this movie.

Recommend this product? Yes

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