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Everything a good teen comedy needs

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.


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