5.8/10
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209 user 71 critic

What a Girl Wants (2003)

PG | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 4 April 2003 (USA)
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0:31 | Trailer
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
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3,992 ( 582)
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 | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 April 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Girl See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,434,964, 6 April 2003

Gross USA:

$36,105,433

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$50,732,139
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anna Chancellor and Christina Cole, who played mother and daughter in this movie, played Caroline Bingley. Anna in Pride and Prejudice (1995) with Colin Firth (who is also in this movie) and Christina in Lost in Austen (2008). See more »

Goofs

When Daphne is being sprayed by the shower head before they go to the Royal Dress Show, she is screaming but her lips are not moving. See more »

Quotes

Peach Orwood: [nervous; with her sister, Pear] I'm Peach, she's Pear. You see, our mother was slightly obsessed with fruits. We have a sister named Parsnip... she doesn't get out much.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Office: Beach Games (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

I Wanna Be Bad
Written by Brian Kierulf, Joshua Schwartz, and Willa Ford (as Amanda Williford)
Performed by Willa Ford
Courtesy of Lava Records LLC
By Arrangement with Warner Strategic Marketing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
May be remembered as her best work - charming, almost impeccable film
8 November 2013 | by A_Different_DrummerSee all my reviews

This review written in late 2013 at a time when Ms. Bynes career seems to have derailed and we wish her the best. In her career to date, the two most accomplished works she has left for us are this film, WHAT A GIRL WANTS, and the work she did a few years later, SHES THE MAN. Will deal with the latter first. SHES THE MAN is one of a small sub-sub-sub class of Hollywood products that attempts to build a movie around the notion of a woman disguised as man. There are at least a dozen of these floating around the IMDb. The writing in SHES THE MAN is way above average, and the supporting cast is perfect. But it is Bynes who steals the show there, possibly doing the most impressive male-female switch in film history. And speaking of stealing the show, that is exactly what she does in WHAT A GIRL WANTS. (The title never seemed a good match to the actual film, which builds slowly and successfully to a satisfying conclusion). Playing opposite a stellar cast (Colin Firth? Wow!) Bynes provided the perfect mix of energy, youth and charm to move this movie into a class of its own. She "owns" the role and once you have seen the film, it is hard to imagine anyone else doing it.


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