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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
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.
Tags for What a Girl Wants Full Movie
, Colin Firth
, Eileen Atkins
, Kelly Preston
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