I’m going to be starting a new series: every Friday, I will post about a film that I have personally loved and would recommend to anyone to watch. And thus I begin Favourite Film Friday with teen chick flick What a Girl Wants.
What a Girl Wants is the story of a young girl named Daphne (played by Amanda Bynes before she went the way of Lindsay Lohan), growing up with her bohemian mother in New York’s Chinatown. She yearns from a very young age to meet her father who does not know about her. Played by Colin Firth, he is a lord and a politician in England with a rising career. Daphne travels to London on her own to find him and, hopefully, to be a part of his life. She disrupts his upper-crust world with her exuberant American ways so she tries to change and fit in, trading flared jeans and Walkmans for boring tweed skirts and large hats. In the end, both Daphne and her father realize that they want to be their true selves and that they love each other despite the social obstacles.
One of the great things about this film is the type of role model that Daphne was for young girls like me when this movie came out, twelve years ago. She was fun, true to herself, had a good relationship to her parents, and didn’t rely on some boy (although she totally gets the cute British singer in the end). Plus, she gets to go to Oxford University and live in a manor! Conversely, Amanda Bynes used to be such a great role model for tomboys like me, back in the day. She had her own sketch comedy show, The Amanda Show, which was brilliantly parodic and sort of a kids version of Saturday Night Live. The film also opened the eyes of a new generation of females who would fall in love with Colin Firth and perhaps sparked my own current Anglophilia. Overall, What a Girl Wants is one of my favourite, feel-good films. Plus, it's got a great 1990s-early 2000s soundtrack!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 vintage jeans.