5.9/10
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What a Girl Wants (2003)

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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.

Director:

Dennie Gordon
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Amanda Bynes ... Daphne Reynolds
Colin Firth ... Henry Dashwood
Kelly Preston ... Libby Reynolds
Eileen Atkins ... Jocelyn Dashwood
Anna Chancellor ... Glynnis Payne
Jonathan Pryce ... Alistair Payne
Oliver James ... Ian Wallace
Christina Cole ... Clarissa Payne
Sylvia Syms ... Princess Charlotte
Soleil McGhee Soleil McGhee ... Young Daphne
Peter Reeves Peter Reeves ... Sir John Dashwood
James Greene ... Percy
Steven Osborne Steven Osborne ... Staff Member
Mike Toller Mike Toller ... Libby's Band Member
Tom Penn Tom Penn ... Libby's Band Member
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Storyline

Loosely based on the 1958 comedy The Reluctant Debutante starring Sandra Dee, the family-friendly comedy What a Girl Wants features popular Nickelodeon teen star Amanda Bynes in her first feature-starring performance after her debut in Big Fat Liar. She plays teenager Daphne Reynolds, who lives in New York City with her musician mother, Libby (Kelly Preston). After she turns 17, Daphne is undecided about her future, so she takes off by herself to London in search of her father. She immediately meets cute musician Ian (Oliver James) before sneaking in to her father's estate to surprise him. He turns out to be Lord Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth), a fabulously wealthy aristocrat who doesn't even know that she exists. He had met her mother in Morocco and the two were married in a tribal ceremony. Upon their return to England, she left him and went back to the U.S. without ever revealing that she was pregnant. The uptight Henry is already flustered by his campaign for election, advised by ...

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Warner Bros. | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 April 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Girl See more »

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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Aside from shooting in London, they also filmed in Morocco and New York City. When Lord Dashwood withdrew his candidacy, he made that speech at the Old Royal Naval College where Cinderella and Sherlock Holmes were also filmed. See more »

Goofs

Lord Orwood claims that the chandelier was given by Napoléon Bonaparte to Josephine after the Battle of Borodino. The Battle of Borodino took place in 1812. Napoleon had divorced Josephine in 1809. He would have given the chandelier to his wife Marie Louise, whom he married in 1810. See more »

Quotes

Henry Dashwood: For me, it's just a stop on the campaign trail, and for Glynnis it's a chance to launch Clarissa on society.
Daphne Reynolds: Launch her? You make her sound like a ship.
Henry Dashwood: No, in Clarissa's case it's more like an intercontinental ballistic missile.
See more »

Connections

References Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

What a Wonderful World
Written by Bob Thiele and George David Weiss
Produced by Brian Rawling and Robin Smith
Performed by Oliver James
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Cute movie with a good message
16 April 2004 | by alliesmom97See all my reviews

This was a cute, clean movie that you can sit down and watch with your kids. Daphne has never met her father, so she takes off for England to find him. She discovers he is in the middle of an election for some public office. Daphne has to choose between becoming what he wants her to be and staying true to herself. And dad has to make a choice about what is really important.

In response to the reviewer who slammed the movie as being anti British, and saying it was trying to say the American way is better, that is utter nonesense. This was not a typical British family--they were royalty and associated with people like them. Do you suppose the real Queen would find someone like Daphne amusing? Daphne's boyfriend was a decent young man who was also a bit off the wall and his own person--but he was an ordinary English kid, not a member of any royal family. There are circles here in America where Daphne's free spirit attitude would be frowned upon, too. Every country has "classes" that are snobbish and uptight and every country has "Daphnes"--good kids who just want to be themselves.


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