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Overall Rating

Awesome: 21.67%
Worth A Look31.67%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 18.33%
Total Crap: 28.33%

4 reviews, 36 user ratings

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What a Girl Wants
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Scott Weinberg

"As if it's DIFFICULT to ascertain what teenage girls 'want'?"
2 stars

This just in: "What a girl wants" is this: a charming and hunky long-lost British papa who is well-to-do and just clueless enough to let you get away with any stupid ol' thing you opt to do. Well, duh. Who wouldn't want that?

Yet another piece of teen-girl wish-fulfillment fluff of the most forgettable sort, What a Girl Wants tells the oft-told tale of fishes out of water and the grasses being always greener on the other continent. It might say Warner Bros. on the DVD cover, but this is the pure-bred Disney formula through and through. A retread in the wake of The Princess Diaries' box office success and a loose remake of Vincente Minnelli's 1958 The Reluctant Debutante, Dennie Gordon's limp little story goes nowhere slowly.

Cute 'n' perky Amanda Bynes (last seen in Big Fat Liar) stars as cute 'n' perky Daphne Reynolds, daughter to sadsack hot-mom Kelly Preston and long-absent British politician Colin Firth. One day Daphne decides to search England for her Papa and express her daughterhood. The ever-proper Henry Dashwood (Firth) sees nothing but scandal in his new daughter's arrival, but fatherly instinct kicks in and Daphne is invited to spend the summer.

If I told you that Daphne also inherits a devious soon-to-be-stepmother and a bitchy stepsister, would you find it shocking or just tiresome and obvious? I went with the latter. Plus Henry's political advisor is the evil stepsister's all gets kind of involved for throwaway treacle of this order.

So obviously the mean Brits will do whatever they can to sabotage the cute 'n' perky American newcomer. She will, of course, overcome their scheming disdain and forge a strong bond with her estranged father. It all takes a lot longer than it needs to, plus there are clumsy pratfalls, irritating "culture shock" gags, and even a dreaded example of the Impromptu Dance Number that we all just love so much.

There's some puppy-love romance, a handful of subplots that display the wonders of Free-Spirited American perkiness, more than a few musical montages that give a respite from the banal chatterings of all the characters, six or seven happy endings to keep the target audience appeased, and a paper-thin superficiality that threatens to turn the whole affair into a huge vat of vanilla icing.

Yeah, Amanda Bynes is a cute lil' thing and Colin Firth capably proves that he can salvage scenes in just about any old treacle-fest - but those are hardly reasons enough to endure this endlessly familiar Chickie Flick.

Those who appreciate it now will doubtlessly look back on it with stifled giggles and rolling eyes.

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originally posted: 05/12/04 20:18:35
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User Comments

3/04/11 Jenny Old cheap shit from Colin Firth. Amanda Bynes in deserved obscurity. 2 stars
9/23/10 Emily Sand Once again Colin Firth shits on his audience. 1 stars
4/04/10 Barbara Quintessential Firth - walks thu a movie straight to the bank. 2 stars
2/22/10 Rita Critics keep excusing C Firth his choices and this is the crap you keep getting from him. 2 stars
1/24/08 Charles Tatum Pretty awful stuff, Bynes' TV work is funnier 2 stars
7/17/07 isabella its really cute and i cant wait tell hairspray amanda your great!!! 5 stars
6/10/07 Jelena This is the great film,but I still do not know the name of her handsome boyfriend....Help? 5 stars
11/07/05 Huwai It's very nice. I really like it 5 stars
5/31/05 Carolann i love this movie! its my favorit movie in the world.i love the cast. 5 stars
7/21/04 Valerie A very "girly" movie, but I like it! This movie is a must see for girls! 5 stars
4/06/04 Dean not bad 4 stars
1/19/04 george i like it 5 stars
1/14/04 Chupa Chups too much like the princess diaries...i wud hav given it "1 star" if it wasn't for Colin 2 stars
10/26/03 IRISH ITS GREAT 5 stars
10/13/03 ellie Charming 5 stars
9/13/03 Kitty B. amanda bynes sux 1 stars
8/13/03 Nancy295 I liked it - Colin is hot and Amanda was cute. 4 stars
8/13/03 Red great 5 stars
8/09/03 Ghetto Smurf I haven't seen this. I just wanted to give a shitty review 1 stars
7/11/03 Rebecca I loved this movie ! it rocks 5 stars
7/10/03 SA A feel good movie if ever there was one. Kudos to Colin Firth and the excellent cast. 5 stars
7/08/03 kz Colin Firth in leather pants...Amanda was much better than expected 4 stars
6/09/03 khurshid pretty good movie for teenagers 4 stars
6/04/03 Jenna Furr The Parent Trap without twins. Mostly works. 4 stars
4/12/03 JJ I think the movie is great. Colin Firth is great as usual and Amanda is a rising star 5 stars
4/11/03 wafer are you people fucking kidding 1 stars
4/10/03 katsat Extreme dichotomy of Ratings: Awesome/Sucks, Love/Hate, Girl/Boy 4 stars
4/09/03 H Jordan Anyone over 12 actually writing their comments here? Might explain the ratings. 1 stars
4/09/03 Linda Kemmerer Excellent family entertainment, Colin Firth and Amanda Bynes develop real chemistry. 5 stars
4/08/03 Andrew Carden Tediously Unfunny and Slow Nickelodeon Fare. Avoid At All Costs. 1 stars
4/06/03 Kaesi This film sucks. It made me WANT TO DIE just so I wouldn't have to watch it anymore... 1 stars
4/06/03 Atanu What an incompetent review from katsat. Enough with the Brit obsession already. 1 stars
4/03/03 Heather What was I thinking when I saw this? Utter horse shit 1 stars
3/29/03 obee anything with Colin Firth is worth watching 4 stars
3/28/03 kaylie horrible movie, amanda is a bad actress 1 stars
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  04-Apr-2003 (PG)


  03-Apr-2003 (PG)

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