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  • Widescreen 1.85:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Commentary - English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Commentary - English: Dolby Digital Stereo
    English, Hebrew, Arabic
  • Additional footage - 3 additional scenes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • 2 Audio commentary
  • Cast/crew biographies - Just credits
  • Featurette - Fashion 101

What a Girl Wants

Warner Bros./Warner Home Video . R4 . COLOR . 101 mins . M15+ . PAL


In the Cliché Department at Warner Brothers the boffins are always hard at work, coming up with variations on several themes. One of these has been utilised perfectly here; girl searches for dad and finds self in the process.

It’s hard work cramming as many clichés as you can into a film and success isn’t always forthcoming, however I’m pleased to announce that in What A Girl Wants the cliché level has been maintained to its fullest and it’s a rip roaring cliché success!

Let’s walk through it now...
A little girl named Daphne Reynolds lives with her hippie mother. She is told the tale of how the cool singer (Kelly Preston) met a mysterious hippie (Colin Firth) in Morocco. They were wed Bedouin style and then went to London, where hippie guy lived. It turns out he’s next in line to be a Lord and his Dad (the current Lord) just died. Now the Evil Advisor (Jonathan Pryce) gets rid of the new Lord’s true love to mould him into a proper English gent and such.

"Don’t let him in! I’m not even cute yet!"

Fast forward 17 years. Hippie girl was pregnant when run off the ranch, and now her daughter, Miss Wayout, wants to find her father. She jets off to London to find him (to strains of The Clash singing London Calling, of course) and it turns out he’s a big politician about to be married to some troll from under a bridge. Miss Wayout (Amanda Bynes) arrives and is naturally all teenage and stuff, like, and she doesn’t, like, fit in like, you know? Troll (daughter of original Evil Advisor) is trying to get rid of her so she can be the Lord’s wife (once he gets into power of course). Unfortunately, Miss Wayout was just what the stuffy English doctor ordered, because all of English society loves her and her zany, madcap adventures. (You can guess the rest if you like, but I’ll give it to you anyway).

So then, Miss Wayout tones down her madcappiness and tries to fit in and does so swimmingly, thankyou very much, but her cool musician boyfriend (she met on the first day in London) thinks she’s a square now and leaves. That reminds Miss Wayout that she used to be like really cool like, and stuff. So, she becomes all cool again and her poor old Dad, the mysterious hippie guy remembers he used to be cool too, man, and well... that’s all you get for now.

Aimed primarily at girls between ages ten through 18, this is nothing we’ve not seen before. Riddled with clichés and awkwardness (Daphne falls over or bangs her head no less than five times) this is a very predictable film with very little to offer as a story (one thing I’d really like to know though, is why these films all promote ‘being yourself and individual’ yet they all tell the same story in the same way? Isn’t that a teensy bit hypocritical?)

Anyway, while it has some moments of humour, to me it all smacks like a million other teenage girl films I’ve... erm, my sisters have watched and by the end I was pretty glad it was over. Kelly Preston is wasted, Colin Firth and Jonathan Pryce are as well, and the supporting cast seem to get most of the screen time. This has also been very loosely based on The Reluctant Debutante, a stage play by William Douglas Home, but I’m fairly sure he wouldn’t recognise it.


A perfect video transfer, of course. Being released in cinemas so recently, it naturally looks beautiful. I couldn’t detect many artefacts throughout, the colours are nice and even, and so are flesh tones. Shadows detail is good, particularly in some of the interior mansion shots and blacks are true. A perfect picture all up.


Again, pretty much perfect. Dolby Digital 5.1 does all the excellent work and brings it home to us well. The dialogue is all crystal clear, sound effects are even and the music is fine. Musically, there are a bunch of teen girl power beats throughout and while it’s not my cup of English tea, it at least sounds great. The boyfriend, Oliver James, and Kelly Preston both sing their own songs at least and they are both more than competent enough to do so. Other soundtrack notables include Craig David, Meredith Brooks, Michelle Branch, Holly Valance and The Donnas. They lost a point for the song on the main menu that sounds like something is going on in the background during recording, however.


A bit of a pantload here, but hardly worth flying to England for. However, they do increase the value of the package somewhat, so here goes...

Firstly, there are two audio commentaries. The first sees, well hears, Amanda Bynes all alone talking about the film and her experiences with it. She does pause for like ever at times and she’s very teenage, like, so this one is bound to appeal more to like, the market the film is aimed at and stuff. Like.

The second is the director with the two screenwriters and this one is the more technical effort, describing the methods of writing and the more mature approach to the film. For my money, they’re both equal in quality though, so like, whatever.

Fashion 101 is a quick two part featurette about firstly, the clothing Ms Bynes wears throughout the film and secondly, the etiquette of the film. Both are quite interesting, particularly the clothing bit, but should have run a little bit longer.

Additional Scenes were thankfully deleted from the film because they do very little to enhance it and are basically filler material here. They run for a grand total of 1:40 and only contain three scenes. Cast and crew follows and is basically the main cast and crew credits on one page. More filler.

The trailer comes over to get its hair done next and runs for 1:56 at 2.35:1 with 16:9 enhancement. That’s like so many numbers! It’s like a text message number or something.

Finally, there’s an Easter egg which you can look up yourself or check out our egg section to get the 911. Like.


This is a harmless film aimed at a specific market. However, anyone looking for something very lightweight to mark test papers or darn their socks during could do worse than this. While this sort of film wouldn’t be my usual choice at the local video store, I’m sure there is a very large group of kids out there who will enjoy it. Plenty of colour and fun and cool outfits and stuff will no doubt attract the gang and that’s cool, but I found it a little shallow allover and a bit too predictable. Like.


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      And I quote...
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