Movie Review: What a Girl Wants

what a girl wants

Daphne Reynolds (Amanda Bynes) lives with her mother Libby (Kelly Preston), a wedding singer, above a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, New York. Daphne has never met her father and wishes desperately for a father and daughter dance and to know the other person who made her. Her mother is very vague about it all, telling Daphne that she left her husband before he knew she was pregnant because his secretary had convinced him Lord Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth) was better off without him.

Daphne takes matters into her own hands and flies to London. She sees on TV that her father is running for election to become Prime Minister. She meets Ian Wallace (Oliver James), a nice English boy who she gets along with before she heads to look for her father.

Daphne sneaks into Dashwood manor and is caught, and Henry initially believes she is paparazzi. When she explains everything he is hurt that he was never told but wants to get to know her better. This doesn’t jibe well with his fiancé, Glynnis (Anna Chancellor) and his soon to be stepdaughter Clarissa (Christina Cole). Glynnis is the daughter of Henry’s secretary, Alistair (Jonathan Pryce), the man who had orchestrated Libby’s exit from Henry’s life.

Clarissa resorts to dirty tactics to discredit Daphne, but she becomes quite popular for her strange American ways. Armistead Stewart (Ben Scholfield) a preppy rich kid is interested in Daphne. This makes Clarissa dislike her more because she wants to date Armistead. Daphne ends up pushing him into the Thames when he tries to kiss her, causing another publicity scandal for her father.

Henry tells Daphne in the nicest way possible that she is ruining his career and Daphne decides to hide away her true self and become more ladylike. This starts working and she becomes the press’s darling. Ian is very upset by it all because it isn’t who he has come to like and know.

Will Daphne ever be able to be herself again? Will she and Ian end up together? What will Lord Dashwood do when he finds out that Alistair sent away his pregnant wife?

Rating: 4.5/10

Why do chick flicks have bad names?

Because of movies like What a Girl wants. They take horrible actors and throw in one good actor in (Just what was Colin Firth thinking) and expect one good one to save the rest. Then, as an added bonus, a completely unrealistic story line is woven – do American parents routinely allow their children to just fly to another continent or was Libby a special case? The movie is completely PG friendly and sanitized to death. The English people are ridiculously portrayed – to make the American girl look cool, which failed, and does not bring the expected humour to the movie. I want to call Colin Firth and ask exactly what he was thinking being in this film. Thoroughly NOT recommended.

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