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Chasing Liberty (2004) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Anna Foster has never had an ordinary life. At eighteen years old, she is the most protected girl in America; she is the First Daughter. Frustrated with her overprotective father, the President of the United States of America, Anna makes a deal with him: only two agents are allowed to guard her while she attends a concert in Prague. When her father backs out of his promise, Anna flies into a temper and goes on the run with Ben Calder, a handsome photographer she runs into outside of the music club. They travel together with the intention of going to the Love Parade in Berlin. Anna hasn't told Ben who she is but more importantly, Ben hasn't told her who he is. Under the orders of Anna's father, Ben is supposed to keep an eye on the rebellious girl but falling in love with her wasn't something he expected to do. Romance blossoms between the wild, sassy Anna and the cool, distant Ben as they backpack through Europe. Problem is, when it is time to go back and Anna finds out about Ben, what will happen to the two lovers?

  • As the daughter of the US President since age twelve, eighteen year old Anna Foster has always faithfully carried out her diplomatic duties as requested, until now. Reaching young adulthood, she is now wanting a little freedom in her life, especially as she starts to date, not wanting a mass of secret service personnel, out in plain sight or hidden behind potted palms, watching her every move. For a state visit trip with her parents to Prague, Anna is able to negotiate with her father a one night only reduced security team as she hangs out with an old "diplomat brat" friend, Gabrielle, at a nightclub, which is much less freedom than she originally wanted, but to which her father would agree. On that night out, Anna finds that her father reneged on his promise, that breach which she considers grounds truly to get her freedom and run off to Berlin for the Love Parade, which is one of the things her father would not let her do. She is able to elude her secret service team with the help of a white knight, twenty-three year old Ben Calder, a British tourist. What Anna does not know is that Ben is actually part of her security detail for this trip. Ben's new instructions are to stay with her as her friend to ensure she is all right, while not divulging who he is, the two items which become increasingly incompatible as time progresses, and as they get into one misadventure after another. Anna starts to fall for Ben, her first true love, which may all change if she finds out who he is. Ben also starts to fall for her in return, which places him in a conundrum about how to reconcile his personal feelings with his professional obligations. Meanwhile, part of the secret service team that is following them are partners Alan Weiss and Cynthia Morales. Part of their regular banter includes Weiss' continual cheap come-ons to her, which may mask true feelings he has for her.

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  • The President's daughter, unable to experience life like a normal 18 year-old, escapes from her entourage of Secret Service agents while traveling in Europe. She falls in love with a handsome British stranger, who also happens to be working undercover for her father. A modern-day homage to ROMAN HOLIDAY.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • Anna Foster (Mandy Moore) is the daughter of the President of the United States, James (Mark Harmon) and First Lady Michelle Foster (Caroline Goodall).

    When a hassle of Secret Service agents ruins a first date, Anna demands some freedom. Her dad agrees to send only two agents with Anna and Gabrielle La Clare (Beatrice Rosen) to a concert when Anna goes to Prague with her parents. A sexy new look for Anna causes her father to renege. When Anna discovers the concert is filled with agents and that her father has broken his promise, Gabrielle helps Anna elude her protectors. Outside the concert, Anna meets Ben Calder (Matthew Goode), and asks him to drive her to escape the agents. Anna goes to a bar with Ben and proceeds to get drunk. Unbeknownst to Anna, Ben is with the Secret Service, and tells agents Alan Weiss (Jeremy Piven) and Cynthia Morales (Annabella Sciorra) where Anna is. The President orders the three agents to have Ben guard Anna without telling her who he really is, to give her an illusion of freedom with a guarantee of safety. Believing herself free of her guards for the first time in years, Anna jumps into the Vltava River naked, mistaking it for the Danube, and Ben has to fish her out (he stays clothed). Weiss and Morales buy the camera from someone taking pictures of the skinny-dipping Anna. Anna and Ben climb a rooftop to watch an opera being shown in a plaza, where Anna eventually falls asleep with Ben guarding her, and Weiss and Morales watching from another roof.

    The next morning, Anna calls her parents to avoid getting into further trouble with them. Knowing she is safe, her father is initially indulgent, and Anna is about to return, but his tone changes when he is shown the photos of her nude in the river. The First Lady, however, asks, "What happened to 'let freedom ring?'" (That had been his earlier line when he had decided to let her stay out with Ben.) Anna is outraged at both her dad's sudden imperious tone and finding out that he traced her call. She decides to meet Gabrielle at the Love Parade in Berlin and return to her parents right before the plane trip home. Ben goes with her on the train, where they meet Scotty McGruff (Martin Hancock), a flighty romantic obsessed with Six Million Dollar Man stickers and the interconnectivity of the world, he gives them a stack of stickers and tells them to stick them up in random places, then one day when they are unhappy, they will see one and it will make them smile. Through him, the two learn that they have boarded a Venice-bound train. When they arrive in Venice, Ben calls the other agents to tell them where they are but has to leave the phone dangling when he realizes he can no longer see Anna. He finds her and McGruff getting new clothes, and the three explore Venice - until McGruff steals their wallets. Ben is about to tell the cafe they cannot pay when Anna is recognized and races off to avoid being identified as the First Daughter. Ben follows, and they tell a story of marrying, against the wishes of Anna's parents, to get a gondola ride from a kind-hearted gondolier, Eugenio (Joseph Long). Ben kisses Anna during the ride to hide her from the cafe staff's sight. Since they have no place to stay, Eugenio invites them to his and his mother Maria's (Miriam Margolyes) house. That night, thinking the kiss meant that Ben cares for her, Anna offers herself to him. To dissuade her, Ben is disingenuous and harsh. Anna finally gets in the bed alone, while Ben lies on the floor.

    The next day, Eugenio drives them to the Austrian border, as Weiss and Morales show up at Maria's looking for the gondolier with whom Anna and Ben were last seen. Maria tells them that Anna and Ben are married, which is reported to Anna's parents. Upset that Ben rejected her, Anna gets a ride on a truck, leaving Ben to chase her on a borrowed push-bike through the Austria countryside, Anna finds the Jumping Germans, a bungy group who are preparing to jump off a bridge. She also finds McGruff about to bungy as well. Ben arrives just as Anna is being strapped into the harness and insists on jumping with her. At the Germans camp that night, Anna and Ben sit by a fire and eat s'mores whilst keeping McGruff on a tree branch over the river. McGruff says he needed the money to find a mystery girl he has been chasing all over Europe. After one of the Germans asks Anna to share his tent for the night and she refuses, she once again reminds Ben of her attraction to him and after he rebuffs her once more, she walks away declaring that she will share the tent with the German. Insanely jealous, Ben finally admits his feelings for her. As Ben's repaired phone rings, he tosses it aside instead of answering and they spend the night together.

    The next day they make it to the Love Parade and find Gabrielle, who guesses that something has happened to Anna to make her so happy, Anna points out Ben on the payphone and admits she is in love. Whilst Ben is trying to explain his actions on the phone, Anna comes up behind him and finds out that he is an agent and he has lied to her all this time. Enraged and swearing mentally never to forgive him fully, she runs from him, only to be surrounded by some men who recognize her. After Ben fights them, he carries her to the helicopter that has come to pick her up.

    Back in the White House, we see Anna preparing for college and her mom asking how her heart is, to which her reply is, "It's a little bit broken." When at college, with Weiss and Morales protecting her, Anna sees a Six Million Dollar Man sticker and smiles in spite of herself, as it reminds her of her European adventure. On her Christmas break, she visits her father who tells her that Ben has resigned and is now working as a photographer in London. She goes there on an exchange to Oxford College and visits Ben at an opera, where they kiss and reconcile with Agent Weiss and his new bald, moustache wearing partner looking on. Then, as in the beginning of the movie, Anna asks his help to get her out of there.

    A subplot involving Weiss and Morales (Anna's two secret agents) is also in the story. Weiss makes snide comments about Morales, even once asking her to strip naked. Morales then asks him what kind of women want his "construction-break" attitude. Weiss suddenly treats her coldly after this, until they make up later on. Weiss tells Morales that he has had no girlfriends since his hairline receded. Morales tells him that he should get it cut short because some women like that. Later, Morales sees that Weiss has cut his hair and she says it is sexy. He kisses her. He says sorry and pulls away. He begins to walk away, but she grabs his arm and kisses him back. At college with Anna, we see that their relationship is still going well, with Weiss mentioning that he will need to get a new partner, preferably an "old, fat guy."

See also

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