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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 ...
I saw the movie with my mid-teen sister who's exactly the target audience of this film. Now there are many films that are not for everybody, they do not excel in acting, directing, screenplay or effects to be called a 'good movie'. They are meant for certain part of the audience who, if it sticks to the specific formula, just love them. Now I wasn't meant to love "What a girl wants", but I guess, thinking from my point of view, it's a good diversion from me.
The script is above the level I was expecting and young Amanda Bynes acted quite well. Colin Firth seemed a little wooden. There are bits of little innocent humors in places that makes it a relief to watch. The shooting locations and the sets are fine. The soundtrack too is catchy. So even the storyline is very very shallow, one should not complain or analyze too much about such films.
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