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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Percy
Steven Osborne ...
Staff Member
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 »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

4 April 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Girl  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,434,964, 6 April 2003, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$35,990,505, 15 June 2003

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,622,111, 6 November 2003
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

West Wycombe Park, the home of Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth), was also the country home of Colin Firth's character in The Importance of Being Earnest (2002). See more »

Goofs

When Peach and Pear meet the twin boys when they're talking to Clarissa, they wave and say "tood-a-loo," but their lips do not move. See more »

Quotes

Clarissa: I can't believe that little impostor is going to ruin my summer!
Fiona: She may be a lot of things, but I can't believe impostor is one of them. Technically, she's 39th in line to the throne.
Clarissa: Really, Fiona. 38 people would have to die for her to be queen.
Jane: Well, it's far less than the 72 you'd need.
Clarissa: Hmph!
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Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Greatest Story Ever Told
Written by Steve Lee, Steve Torch, and Tom Nichols
Produced by 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 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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