5.8/10
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What a Girl Wants (2003)

PG | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 4 April 2003 (USA)
An American teenager learns that her father is a wealthy British politician running for office. Although she is eager to find him, she realizes it could cause a scandal and cost him the election.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Soleil McGhee ...
Young Daphne
Peter Reeves ...
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Steven Osborne ...
Mike Toller ...
Libby's Band Member
Tom Penn ...
Libby's Band Member
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Storyline

Daphne, a seventeen-year-old girl from New York goes to England in search of her father, who does not know he had a child with an American girlfriend he met while working in Morocco, and whose aristocratic family did not approve of the woman. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Trying to fit in. Born to stand out.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

4 April 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Girl  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,434,964 (USA) (4 April 2003)

Gross:

$35,990,505 (USA) (13 June 2003)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Before the US release of the film, print advertisements were altered to remove the peace sign that Bynes was giving in the poster. A rep for Warner Bros. explained '"In a time of war, we made a slight alteration so that we could avoid any potential political statement in a completely nonpolitical film." See more »

Goofs

All invitations from Queen Elizabeth II are commands, forwarded by the appropriate member of the royal household. As such when the film says 'Her Majesty the Queen invites you to the Annual Garden Party' in reality the invitation would read 'The Lord Chamberlain is commanded by Her Majesty to invite Lord Dashwood and the Honourable Daphne Dashwood to a Garden Party' See more »

Quotes

Ian: Looking for me?
Daphne Reynolds: Oh, no. I was just looking for the loo!
Ian: Outside? On the terrace?
Daphne Reynolds: [Mouths] Oh.
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Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Long Time Coming
Written by Paul Barry, Mark Taylor, and Nick Carter
Produced by Mark Taylor and Brian Rowling
Performed by Oliver James
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Trailers stank, Movie shines
5 April 2003 | by (Somewhere near Dashwood manor (don't I wish)) – See all my reviews

I went into the theater today expecting a good movie. I was wrong. Why was I wrong? Because this was a GREAT movie!!!

The trailers made this film look INSANELY cheesy. Since I know from experience that trailers are highly inaccurate, I was expecting a PARTIALLY cheesy flick. But what I saw had almost no cheese to it at all. What A Girl Wants, despite its unfortunate title, is what a LOT of people want, combining drama, comedy, romance, and self-discovery in an hour and 45 minutes of enjoyment.

I didn't say insight, mind you, I said self-discovery. This is purely a narrative, not a deep thought movie, and it wouldn't have worked any other way. Kudos to Dennie Gordon for not trying to accent a theme that we're already familiar with, rather, she just throws it into the story, almost casually, so that we see the message of individuality but aren't repulsed by an overly blatant moral.

Many of this film's detractors say that it's a rip of The Princess Diaries. Not true. Yes, it's an adaptation, but it's based on "The Reluctant Debutante", which was around for DECADES before Diaries was even conceived. Besides, while it is a little formulaic, there are a few twists.

Many say it portrays inaccurate American/British stereotypes. Not true. Daphne and her mother are CLEARLY presented to be NOTHING like the average American, and Lord Dashwood only behaves so properly because of his political position.

Amanda Bynes as Daphne Reynolds finally gets a chance to show of her incredible dramatic skills. (Moody's Point had too much of a satirical tone to properly show this.) Bynes has her glory moments of comedy alongside her touching moments as the girl who wants to understand who she is.

Colin Firth as Henry Dashwood. Come on, who didn't already know Firth kicks butt? He is the center of every scene Bynes isn't in, and he carries that weight well.

Eileen Atkins as Lady Dashwood does a tremendous job with her supporting role, who is far more crucial to the plot than anyone expected.

Oliver James handles his theatrical debut well, showing much more emotion than the previews indicated. Libby Reynolds isn't a fully round character, but that's the script's fault, not Kelly Preston's. Both are capable singers, and considering that Bynes's one major performance flaw is lack of musical ability, I'm glad these two sang instead of her.

In fact, basically the entire cast here was superb.

See it, you'll be glad you did. Fine entertainment for almost everybody.


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