What a Girl Wants


What a Girl Wants

Critics Consensus

Little girls will definitely enjoy it, but it's too syrupy and predictable for adults.



Total Count: 107


Audience Score

User Ratings: 453,612
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Movie Info

Daphne Reynolds has what every girl wants--or so it seems. This spirited young American girl has a unique style all her own, an unconventional but loving relationship with her bohemian mother Libby and a future full of possibilities--but despite her remarkable promise, Daphne feels incomplete. She dreams of one day meeting the father she's never known, the man Libby shared a whirlwind romance with seventeen years ago, but ultimately left behind because his aristocratic family found her unsuitable. Determined to live out her fantasy of forging a storybook relationship with her long-absent dad, Daphne impulsively hops a flight to London, where she quickly discovers that her father is high profile politician Lord Henry Dashwood. When Henry opens his life and his social calendar to the daughter he never knew existed, Daphne's appearance in high society creates an uproar that threatens to undermine his political career. Not wanting to jeopardize his campaign for an upcoming election, Daphne stifles her naturally vibrant personality, refashions herself as a proper debutante and plunges into a whirlwind of stuffy British social events. But even with Henry's support, she's not getting any help from his conniving fiancée or her jealous daughter, who are bent on ruining Daphne at every turn. With the aid of Ian, a charming and society-savvy local musician, Daphne attempts to prove that love--and proper etiquette--can conquer all. But Daphne soon realizes she doesn't like the person she's becoming in the process. As much as she wants to be her father's daughter, it's not worth it if she can't be herself.


Amanda Bynes
as Daphne Reynolds
Colin Firth
as Henry Dashwood
Kelly Preston
as Libby Reynolds
Eileen Atkins
as Jocelyn Dashwood
Anna Chancellor
as Glynnis Payne
Jonathan Pryce
as Alistair Payne
Tom Harper
as Edward
Steven Anderson
as Television Reporter
Newton Boothe
as Taxi Driver
Chris Castle
as Prince Harry
Soleil McGhee
as Young Daphne
Peter Reeves
as Sur John Dashwood
Steven Osborne
as Staff Member
Mike Toller
as Libby's Band Member
Tom Penn
as Libby's Band Member
Tom Goodfellow
as Libby's Band Member
James Bell
as Libby's Band Member
Stanley Townsend
as Bride's Father
Oliver James
as Ian Wallace
Nita Mistry
as Girl in Hostel
Christina Cole
as Clarissa Payne
James Woolley
as Political Advisor One
James Linton
as Political Advisor Two
Jonah Russell
as Policeman
Peter Hugo
as Prince Charles
Matthew Turpin
as Prince William
Ben Scholfield
as Armistead Stuart
Bruno Tonioli
as Fashion Emcee
Sylvia Syms
as Princess Charlotte
Antony Carrick
as Prince Michael
Cassie Powney
as Peach Orwood
Connie Powney
as Pear Orwood
Luke Fredericks
as Ian's Band Members
Tim Fornara
as Ian's Band Members
David Gyasi
as Ian's Band Members
David Temple
as Ian's Band Members
David Whitmey
as Ian's Band Members
Andrew Clarke
as Male Twin 1
Peter Clarke
as Male Twin 2
Daniel Tuite
as Newspaper Reporter No. 1
Sarah Mark
as Newspaper Reporter No. 2
Victoria Wicks
as Henry's Secretary
Vernon Preston
as Duke of Edinburgh
Matt Acheson
as Country Club Wedding Singer
Ash Croney
as Dancer
Tony Kemp
as Dancer
Allan Laza
as Dancer
Anne Lucas
as Dancer
Sian Todd
as Dancer
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Critic Reviews for What a Girl Wants

All Critics (107) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (70)

Audience Reviews for What a Girl Wants

  • Aug 18, 2012
    If you are feeling a little down and want to watch a happily-ever-after fairy tale, this is the movie for you!
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • Jul 11, 2011
    I thought this was a really cute movie. Although it's defiantly predictable, the cast of well known actors and actresses makes this a great feel good film. The story line follows a young American girl named Daphne Reynolds (played by Amanda Bynes) whose mother Libby (Kelly Preston) fell in love with an aristocratic young Englishman, Lord Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth) in her youth but who was separated from him by family and social pressures. Daphne has dreamed of being reunited with her father, and so she sets off for London in search of him. That's not difficult, as he is running for Parliament and campaigning everywhere. Daphne discovers that he is soon to be married to a snobby young Englishwoman (Anna Chancellor) with an equally ambitious and even more conceited daughter (Christina Cole). Neither of them can stomach Daphne's surprise arrival and will do everything they can to undermine Daphne's relationship with her new found dad. Apart from that this high-spirited young American is not well-suited to life among the prim and proper expectations of the British upper class and lots of mini-disasters occur as her father tries to introduce her to English society. On the whole, I did enjoy this film very much, because Amanda Bynes is adorable and the chemistry between she and 'Dad' Firth seems natural and unforced. I was especially delighted to see the usually staid Colin Firth with new moves - the dance-in-the-mirror scene, for one in which he dons a t-shirt and tight black leather pants while playing an air guitar. Then there is a cutie musician named Oliver James as Ian Wallace who sang the songs Long Time Coming and Greatest Story Ever Told, which were on the film's soundtrack.
    Deb S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 03, 2011
    Charming, a little silly, good father-daughter bonding, not half bad, a party fun girl movie, and it was somehow emotional for me. It would be worst, but exceptional.
    Angel G Super Reviewer
  • Jun 23, 2011
    Oliver James and Amanda Bynes are a really good couple in this film and I really enjoyed it. It's a great chick flick and it's quite funny at times. It's a must see!
    Bethany M Super Reviewer

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