A sweet (if rather implausible) comedy drama that tells the tale of Daphne (Bynes), a sixteen-year-old American girl living with her mother (Kelly Preston), who has always dreamed of meeting the father she has never known. Determined to find him, she hops on a flight to London where she discovers dad is Lord Henry Dashwood (Firth, tongue placed firmly in cheek), an aristocrat and politician who is about to marry the scheming Glynnis (Anna Chancellor) and take on her equally conniving daughter Clarissa (Christina Cole).
Girls will enjoy Daphne’s adventure as her American ways raise eyebrows in English society (there’s a cute little romance too, with local musician Ian, as played by newcomer Oliver James), while adults will have a snigger or two at the way the Brits are portrayed as snobby, badly dressed socialites more attached to their antique chandeliers than their children. It’s all completely daft, of course, but as preteen Cinderella stories go, this one (loosely based on the Rex Harrison movie The Reluctant Debutante) is suitably fizzy and enjoyable.
Is What A Girl Wants suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...