Sunday, September 12, 2010

What A Girl Wants -- 2003

What A Girl Wants

Rated PG for some language and innuendo
My Rating: 4 Stars

Amanda Bynes
Colin Firth
Kelly Preston
Jonathan Pryce
Oliver James
Anna Chancellor
              Christina Cole
               Ben Scholfield

“I feel like half of me is missing...”

What does every girl want, anyway? To feel protected? To have a friend and advisor that we trust completely? To know that regardless of what choices we make, we'll always be loved? Someone to tease and banter sarcasm with? Someone who will love our mother selflessly? In short, a father?

I think deep in our hearts, the desires of all girls are the same. We might not call it by the same name or even (want to!) realize that a father figure is what we need. 'Father' is so important in a girl's life. He can lift us up to greater heights and make us want to excel in everything, even if just for the joy of pleasing him. On a sad note, that same figure can be all of our hurt... he can make us distrust every man. But a man who loves his daughter, his wife, his family, is worth his weight in gold and then some. He is priceless.

“Women are just drawn to me. It's something I happen to be blessed with.”

At the moment of blowing out her candles each birthday, Daphne Reynolds had made the same wish for as long as she could remember: that if she was good enough, her father would come. Then she, he and her mother (Kelly Preston) would all live happily ever after together in their small apartment, five stories above the streets of China Town.

But year after year passed and suddenly Daphne was no longer a child. She had become a beautiful young woman of seventeen years. And she could definitely think on her own, just the way her mother had raised her. So when Libby Reynolds discovered that her daughter had disappeared, she knew even before she listened to the recorded message where Daphne was headed: England.

“No hugs, dear. I'm British. We only show affection to dogs and horses.”

Daphne was one of those act now and figure out the details later sort of girl (attach Brit. accent). So when she arrived in the great city of London and found herself at the barred gates of the Dashwood Estate, she didn't hesitate. Over the wall she went and found herself plunged into a world she had never dreamed of. How can an all American daughter fit her way into prim and proper England? And how to do it without all the fuss, may I ask? Because there is a problem. Just a slight one, really. Her father, Lord Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth), is involved with politics. And his scheming advisors don't care for any surprises... least of all, appearances of unknown (free-thinking!) daughters as beautiful as Daphne.

“Oh, my giddy aunt!”

There's also another problem. You see, Lord Henry is engaged. And she has a daughter.

“My evil step-sister. You've seen Cinderella, right? Let me clue you in. I win.”

What I Liked:
1: I loved the acting. It's all so wonderful. :-)
2: Princess Charlotte was a great addition to the story. One wouldn't think a tactical old woman could be so delightful while prattling on about passionate kissing in the cloak room. I also loved the dog aspect of her.
3: The kitchen scene with Henry and Daphne. “Dude, it's chocolate. Need I say more?”
4: It was fun having Colin Firth and Anna Chancellor acting together again. I would love to see a movie where Anna doesn't have the evil woman part, though. She's so beautiful... but I must say, she does have the right bearing and attitude for the part she plays.
5: I liked the romance. I loved that there were two. Lol.
6: The score, when it wasn't rock, was great.
7: The look into England from a different perspective than usually seen. Yes, it was all city (i.e. crowded) but I liked seeing the rich life, the poor life, the idyllic life, etc.
8: Even though Daphne was a thinker and acted on her own impulses, I didn't get the feeling of a “rebellious daughter”. I appreciated how she was able to be both independent and submissive. That's a tricky combo to pull off regardless whether it's real life or just a movie.
9: How the 'bad guy' is revealed and the 'mystery'.
10: How this movie was basically clean. It was so refreshing and so funny... This ranks right up there with A Cinderella Story.
11: I love how it ends. But I won't tell you. ;-)

What I Didn't Like:
1: When it seemed like Daphne's father was a lost cause, she did move on, which was good. But in spite of her 'revelation' of happiness being in herself, her longings were still the same. I think it would have been better if it had shown her really changing and being happy, in spite of the circumstances.
2: Lack of some details... where did Daphne get the money to suddenly fly to England?
3: Some language/crude terms. Nothing terrible (in fact, I must admit that some of them sounded terribly funny with the British accent).
4: Daphne doesn't dress well 99% of the time. She also moves seductively. Actually, a lot of the women on the film didn't dress too well.
5: Some sexual implications with Clarissa's boyfriend... who is a jerk. It never goes very far but they are there.
6: A lot of rock 'n roll. Not my style.

I did like this movie. :-)

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