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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The film highlights the importance of being true to yourself. The value of family, particularly the special relationship between father and daughter, is also underscored.
Positive Role Models
While Glynnis, Clarissa, and other social-climbing Brits place class and status above all else (and will resort to sneaky behavior to hold on to it), Daphne, Henry, and Libby are down-to-earth idealists who ultimately hang on to what they believe is important.
Violence & Scariness
Slapstick humor leads to lots of falling down, and the loss of tempers results in occasional pushing and punching, but no blood or injuries. A rifle is used for skeet shooting.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some mild sexual innuendo, plus inappropriate flirting and light touching, and references to past sexual relationships and reproduction. Daphne's outfits sometimes reveal her midriff. One plot point includes reference to a dog biting a man's "testicles."
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Words like "hell," "bitch," and "ass" are audible, but very occasionally.
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Products & Purchases
Logos for Virgin Atlantic, Coco Puffs, and Tropicana, and high-end vehicles (Jaguars, Rolls Royces, BMW) are frequently shown. High-end fashion brands like Gucci, Prada, and Ralph Lauren are sometimes referenced and/or visible. Featured music ranges from songs by James Brown to Michelle Branch.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult alcohol consumption (wine, champagne) is visible at weddings and other social functions. Hard liquor is often consumed over meetings and/or alone while contemplating life.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that What A Girl Wants is light-hearted and fun, but also contains a strong word or two ("bitch," "hell"), and themes surrounding illegitimacy, divorce, and father-daughter relationships. It also contains a fair share of references to high-end goods (Gucci, Prada, Rolls-Royce, etc.) and logos for mundane items like Virgin Atlantic, Tropicana, and Coco Puffs. Drinking is visible over meals and social events. An occasional push and punch occurs, too. There's some inappropriate flirting and references to a man's genitals. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It may feel to some people like an adorableness overdose, but this movie's intended audience will enjoy it very much. What a Girl Wants is not just a fairy tale -- it is a full-out fantasy straight from the heart of all young girls and former young girls who really really love their daddies. Bynes is a gifted comedienne, but she doesn't get a chance to show off what she does best in this movie. But she has a fresh and engaging presence and some able and charismatic support from classically trained stage actors Firth, Eileen Atkins, and Jonathan Pryce. The love interest, played by Ian Williams, should be high on the Teen Beat hearthrob list.
The movie feels too long because it is more like a string of unconnected sitcom episodes, each one signaling its conclusion the moment it starts. Each incident fails to build on or even be reflected in the one that comes next. It has a pre-packaged feel, leaving absolutely nothing to chance, not even the possibility that there might be some eight-year-old who has never seen a movie before and might not know that the bad guys are really bad unless they engage in the most idiotically outrageous (and self-defeating) behavior. The climactic, Cinderella-ish conclusion to the big coming-out ball makes Daphne seem inconsistent and immature. And the climactic decision by Henry makes him seem irresponsible and immature.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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