Mia Thermopolis has just found out that she is the heir apparent to the throne of Genovia. With her friends Lilly and Michael Moscovitz in tow, she tries to navigate through the rest of her sixteenth year.
Identical twins Annie and Hallie, separated at birth and each raised by one of their biological parents, later discover each other for the first time at summer camp and make a plan to bring their wayward parents back together.
A guy who danced with what could be the girl of his dreams at a valentine mascarade ball only has one hint at her identity: the Zune she left behind as she rushed home in order to make her ... See full summary »
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 ...
While the issue of Henry disclaiming his seat in the House of Lords while remaining a peer is almost certainly an error, the scenario laid out in the film is possible, if rare. While hereditary peers lost the right to sit in the Lords in 1999, a hereditary peer who also holds a life peerage (and some do exist) has a seat in the Lords by right as a life peer, and is ineligible for election to the Commons. In this rare situation, Henry could have disclaimed the life peerage, giving up his seat in the Lords, while retaining his hereditary peerage. See more »
Now Daphne, we don't want to make a scene now, do we?
Take your hand off my daughter or you won't get a scene, you'll get a Broadway Musical!
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"What a Girl Wants" is a re-tooling/re-telling of William Douglas Home's "The Reluctant Debutante" with the devastatingly charming Amanda Bynes in the title role; in fact 'charming' is the operative word here -everything about the movie is charming, and charmed.
The casting: impeccably superb. Amanda never hits a false note throughout the proceedings, creating a character who is genuinely believable, lovable and worth cheering for (there was a LOT of clapping in the theatre at various points in the film - I clapped AND whistled, myself); Kelly Preston is radiant as Daphne's mother Libby, a musician who still deeply loves Henry, Daphne's father, but has gone on with her life, and Colin Firth (as Daphne's father, Henry Dashwood) is a revelation here, in that he literally becomes more and more attractive as the tale unfolds - as he becomes more and more who he really is underneath his repressed exterior (the scene where he dons his black leather pants and prances in front of the mirror to the horror of his prim prude of a fiancee is priceless), and Oliver James as musician Ian, Daphne's love interest, makes a memorable splash here as well. Everyone else is perfect in their roles too (even the dog rocks).
The screenplay and direction: completely on the mark. Never gets heavy-handed, contrived, mean-spirited, cloying or tedious, believe it or not. The charm is sustained throughout in a dazzling balance of comedy, heartfelt emotion, conflict and growth, culminating in one of the most satisfying resolutions I've experienced in a movie in a long time.
Occasionally, a movie can have predictable elements without that being a bad thing; sometimes predictable elements can be pleasurable -- you realize what's going to happen but you also realize you're in such capable hands that you actually anticipate the playing-out of the scenes you know will occur. Sometimes it's not WHAT is done in a movie but HOW it's achieved, and WHO is doing the achieving.
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