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"WHAT A GIRL WANTS"
(2003) (Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild None Heavy None Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Mild Minor Moderate Mild Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: An American teenager sets off for London to meet her father who doesn't know she exists and ends up shaking up his staid life and potentially endangers his political ambition of running for Parliament.
PLOT:
All 17-year-old Daphne Reynolds (AMANDA BYNES) has ever wanted in her life is a father, but her wedding-singer mother, Libby (KELLY PRESTON), has yet to find a soul mate like Henry Dashwood (COLIN FIRTH). The two met seventeen years earlier in Morocco where they were unofficially married, but when she returned with him to his aristocratic home, her bohemian style didn't sit well with the rest of the family including their royal advisor, Alastair Payne (JONATHAN PRYCE). Accordingly, she moved back to America without letting Henry know she was pregnant.

Feeling that half of her is missing, Daphne sets out for London to introduce herself to her dad, unaware that he recently stepped down from the House of Lords and is running for Parliament as a commoner. Nor does she know that he's about to marry Alastair's haughty daughter, Glynnis (ANNA CHANCELLOR) and thus become stepfather to her snooty teenage offspring, Clarissa (CHRISTINA COLE).

With the help of local musician Ian Wallace (OLIVER JAMES), Daphne gets acclimated to her surroundings and then sneaks into the Dashwood estate where she meets Henry, his widowed mother, Lady Jocelyn (EILEEN ATKINS), and everyone else. Since Daphne's sudden presence provides ample opportunity for unwelcome controversy and a likely scandal, Alastair and his brood deem that they should get rid of her as soon as possible.

Yet, Henry feels that he must get to know his biological daughter. As he begins to loosen up and Daphne eventually tries to fit into their prim and proper lifestyle, the two must decide whether to be true to their real selves, all while dealing with the pending election as well as the efforts of Glynnis and Clarissa to drive Daphne away.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Teenage girls, or those who like movies aimed at that audience demographic will likely want to see it.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • AMANDA BYNES plays an American teen who travels to London to find the father she's never met since she feels he'll make her life complete. Somewhat uncouth, she later tries to fit in with their rigid lifestyle so as not to ruin his political chances.
  • KELLY PRESTON plays her single, bohemian mom who works as a wedding singer and never told Henry that they had a child together.
  • COLIN FIRTH plays a British politician who's set to run for Parliament and marry Glynnis when Daphne suddenly shows up and has him rethink his life and priorities. He briefly uses some profanity.
  • ANNA CHANCELLOR plays Henry's fiancée who becomes concerned with his change of heart and manners upon Daphne's arrival.
  • CHRISTINA COLE plays her conniving and mean-spirited daughter who doesn't want Daphne in the family.
  • OLIVER JAMES plays a young London musician who takes a liking to Daphne but becomes upset when she starts changing her ways to fit in with her family's stuffy and rigid lifestyle.
  • EILEEN ATKINS plays Henry's mother who also takes an instant liking to Daphne.
  • JONATHAN PRYCE plays Henry's personal assistant who got Libby out of his life and now wants to do the same to Daphne so that she doesn't ruin his shot at becoming Henry's father-in-law.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a brief summary of the content found in this drama that's been rated PG. Profanity consists of a handful of expletives, while some religious phrases and non-explicit, but sexually related comments are also made. Classic artwork (a painting and sculpture) show bare breasts, while a young man repeatedly tries to grab young women's clothed butts.

    Various people drink, some miscellaneous characters briefly smoke, and various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Some imitative behavior is present, as is some tense family material (but it's pretty light in tone). Violence consists of a punch, some brief pushing, some accidental skeet shooting damage and some slapstick style material.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Daphne discovers a guy who appears to be drunk under a wedding reception table. We also see various people carrying or having drinks at a party.
  • Henry has a drink.
  • Various people have drinks.
  • Various people drink at a ball.
  • Various people have drinks at a party.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Libby tells Daphne that they should steal some leftovers from a wedding reception (we don't see them doing that and we don't know if she was joking or not).
  • Daphne (who's 17) leaves for London to find her father without telling either of them she's doing that.
  • Glynnis and Clarissa feel threatened by Daphne's presence and thus are mean and disrespectful toward her whenever they get the chance. Glynnis also doesn't respect Henry's mother (and refers to her as the "old bat").
  • Clarissa lies to Ian about Daphne and then won't let him talk to her.
  • Clarissa sets up Daphne by lying to her about what to wear to a fashion show (hoping to embarrass her).
  • Clarissa makes a disparaging, weight-related comment about two debutantes.
  • A young man of high social class looks down on Ian, calling him a peasant and telling him to stay away from Daphne since she's "out of your league" and that "breeding always wins out in the end."
  • Alastair also has a bad attitude toward Daphne and Libby, and hopes he can get rid of the daughter just like he did the mother.
  • Glynnis pushes Daphne into a room and locks her in so that she misses the father/daughter dance.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Shotgun: Used by Lady Jocelyn while shooting skeet.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Shut up," "Bloody," "Guttersnipes," "I'm freaking out," "Put a cork in it," "Ass numbingly dull," "Plunker," "You scared the bejesus out of me," "Snotty miss cranky pants," "Idiot" and "Forgive me if I don't give a flying fart."
  • Daphne puts some ice down the back of a man who appears to be drunk (to get him up - which works as he flails about to get it out).
  • Daphne (who's 17) leaves for London to find her father without telling either of them she's doing that.
  • Daphne jumps up and down on her bed.
  • Daphne occasionally wears midriff-revealing tops.
  • A young man repeatedly tries to grab young women's clothed butts.
  • The butler purposefully pours tea onto Clarissa (but acts as if it was an accident).
  • We see various miscellaneous characters that have many piercings in their faces.
  • Daphne and then Henry have temporary tattoos.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 ass, 2 uses each of "God" and "Oh my God" and 1 use each of "Dear God," "Jesus," "Lord" and "Oh dear God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Glynnis shows cleavage.
  • When everyone meets Daphne for the first time, Clarissa comments that Henry apparently had a better time in Morocco than he initially led on (meaning sex that led to Daphne). When Henry then tells them to "Put a cork in it" -- after a comment is made that Libby took something with her (meaning being pregnant) when she left -- Clarissa replies that someone should have put a cork in it 17 years ago (another sexual reference).
  • A classic painting shows bare breasts, as does a classic statue later in the film.
  • Daphne occasionally wears midriff-revealing tops as well as a tight and formfitting tank-top.
  • An older woman relishes the memories of the "feverish kissing in the cloakroom" (not seen).
  • Henry comments on a princess' dog that reportedly ate a man's testicle and that the tragic thing is that the man is still reproducing.
  • A young man dances with Daphne at a ball and runs his hand down toward her clothed butt, but she stops him.
  • The camera briefly focuses on Daphne's clothed butt in her new outfit.
  • Ian and Daphne briefly kiss.
  • A comment is made that a marriage ritual in Morocco was a mating ritual.
  • Libby states that she's actually wearing a bra in her formal attire (and shows some cleavage).
  • The young man from above grabs a young woman's clothed butt while with Clarissa.
  • SMOKING
  • Some miscellaneous people smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We learn that Daphne has never met her father and has always wanted to have him in her life. She then decides to travel to London to meet him and allow him that opportunity. Once there, that leads to some initially brief tense family moments, as both are unsure of how to proceed.
  • In addition, Daphne's parents were married in a tribal ritual and then later split up due to her not fitting in with Henry's family (all before they had the chance to have an official wedding).
  • In a flashback, we hear that Henry's father died.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Trying to fit in or please others at the sake of being yourself.
  • Daphne saying that she feels like half of her is missing (without a father), and then asking that without that other half, how is she supposed to know who she is.
  • Daphne (who's 17) leaves for London to find her father without telling either of them she's doing that.
  • Royalty in Britain.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Some slapstick style material has Libby falling down a hill, Daphne tripping and falling, and a guy banging his head. Daphne falls off a wall and lands on the ground (we don't see the impact and she's not hurt) and she trips and falls from a model runway (but is okay). Henry accidentally bangs his head on a car, a shotgun blast (while shooting skeet) knocks Daphne backwards, and Daphne and Ian fall into a lake.
  • Lady Jocelyn accidentally ends up shooting the head off a statue and the top off a large birdhouse or similar structure while shooting skeet. A cat on a branch then gets out of the way just in time before another shotgun blast hits that branch.
  • Heavy bass vibration during a live song causes an expensive chandelier to fall from the ceiling and crash to the floor below.
  • Daphne pushes a jerk into a body of water.
  • Glynnis pushes Daphne into a room and locks her in.
  • Henry punches Alastair and sends him to the floor (after learning that he knew of Libby's pregnancy that Henry didn't know about).



  • Reviewed March 19, 2003 / Posted April 4, 2003

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