What a Girl Wants
by Sidrah Zaheer
(Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan)
What a Girl Wants (2003) is a teen romantic comedy directed by Dennis Gordon, who is a successful director on television. It was produced by Denise Di Novi, Bill Gerber and Hunt Lowry. The movie was written by Jenny Bicks and Elizabeth Chandler. The movie stars Colin Firth, Kelly Preston, Oliver James and Amanda Bynes. The music is composed by Rupert Gregson-Williams. It was distributed by Warner Bros. and was released on April 4, 2003 in the United States. It runs for 105 minutes. The movie was made on a budget of $25 million and earned gross revenue of $50,732,139. It has a rating of 35% on Rotten Tomatoes from 104 reviews that were counted and has 5.7 star rating on IMDb.
The movie is a remake of The Reluctant Debutante, a 1958 movie written by William Doughlas-Home, who wrote a play of the same name. However, the title of this movie is taken from an eponymous song by Christina Aguilera. Though, the song does not actually make it into the movie anywhere or in its soundtrack. One interesting trivia about the movie is that since the movie was opened during the Iraq War of 2003, the Warner Bros. changed the poster image of the movie, because originally it showed Amanda Bynes making a peace symbol. It was later changed by removing the peace symbol. The studio made such a decision because it did not want to express in any way that it was in protest against the war.
What a Girl Wants is a story about a teenage girl, played by Amanda Bynes as Daphne Reynolds, who has everything in her life, except that she feels a bit lonely and unlike other girls around her, because she has never met her father. She is very desperate to know who he is and decides to meet him. She takes a flight to London where she knows her father resides. She finds out that he is a well-established lord in England. Glad to see his daughter after so many years, Lord Dashwood, played by Colin Firth, opens his arms for this girl claiming to be his daughter. But this change is not taken positively by those around him and especially by his people who think that this is a bad move for his just starting political career. His daughter is seen as someone far to American to fit well within the British high social society. This is where the things get complicated. For loving her father and wanting to save his political career she does things according to what people expect from her, but in that process she finds herself missing who she really is. Will she be able to have both her father’s love and her original self? Will she be able to unite her parents? To know these things, you have to watch this movie, which is short and sweet and worth your time.
I like the movie for this very same reason that every time I see it, I have tears in my eyes to see the love between the father and daughter shown so beautifully in this movie. I think any kid who is old enough to watch movies would enjoy it.