CROSSES OVER TO MANY GENRES
Natalie Briggs, 10, of Glendale is a fifth-grader at Mark Keppel
School. She is a competitive gymnast at Golden State Gymnastics Club.
In “What a Girl Wants,” our heroine Daphne, 17, lives in New York
with her mother, Libby and grew up without knowing her father, Lord
Henry Dashwood. She works as a waitress at weddings to raise money
to help supplement her mother’s income.
Every time Daphne sees the father-daughter dance, she tells her
mother she will never be able to do that and every birthday, Daphne
wishes she could find her father.
With saved-up money, Daphne travels to London to find her
long-lost father. Upon arriving in London, Daphne meets a boy named
Ian who agrees to help her find her way to her father’s estate.
Daphne is caught trespassing by her own father who doesn’t believe
she is his daughter. Daphne spends the rest of her time in London
trying to fit in, make friends, and make her stepmother and
stepsister like her.
I think the movie is great. It has so many genres put together --
comedy, romance and fairy tale. It made me feel like I’m very lucky
to have a dad. The theme is: What every girl wants is a father.
ACTING MAKES IT MORE THAN A FAIRY TALE
Dean Briggs of Glendale is a sometime actor and photographer and a
full-time house painter and father of fellow critic Natalie Briggs.
In the mid-1980s, a young American musician named Libby (Kelly
Preston) travels to India and literally falls for a young, handsome
Englishman, Lord Dashwood (Colin Firth). After a whirlwind courtship
and Indian wedding, the couple returns to England, where Libby meets
her disapproving English in-laws.
Realizing that Libby is not the perfect wife for a future prime
minister, a plan is hatched by the evil forces that be to send the
Lord’s new hippie bride packing. Lies to both of the young lovers
seal the separation.
Unbeknownst to the young Lord, however, is the fact that his newly
exiled ex-wife is pregnant. This fact, along with the birth of his
daughter, Daphne (Amanda Bynes), is kept secret from the young Lord
for 17 years until young Daphne can wait no longer and goes to London
in search of what every girl wants and needs -- a father.
“What A Girl Wants” does slip into the easy, fairy-tale type of
storytelling, but I had fun watching it.
Bynes is so fresh and alive, and Preston and Firth and all of the
other actors do such a fine job here that who cares if it’s escapist
fare. It’s fairy-tale fluff well done.
“What a Girl Wants” is rated PG for mild language.
* Fans of film can see a movie on the newspaper’s tab by serving
as a Reel Critic. Become a member of this elite panel by calling
entertainment editor Joyce Rudolph at 637-3241.