What a Girl Wants (2003)

What a Girl Wants
Director: Dennie Gordon
Writer: Jenny Bicks, Elizabeth Chandler
Based on: William Douglas Home‘s play The Reluctant Debutante
Cast: Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth, Kelly Preston, Eileen Atkins, Anna Chancellor, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver James, Christina Cole
Seen on: 3.1.2020

Plot:
Daphne (Amanda Bynes) lives with her mother Libby (Kelly Preston), an artist and a free spirit. Daphne has never met her father, she only has a photo of him and knows that he is British. Taking a leaf out of her mother’s book, she decides that the best thing she could do is get on a plane, fly to London and find him. So that’s what she does. And things start pretty well. She meets the cute musician Ian (Oliver James) and she actually quickly finds her father – Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth), who is running for political office at the moment and could not learn about an illegitimate teenage daughter at a worse time. So they have a lot of stuff to figure out.

I was actually not sure if I had seen What a Girl Wants before. It feels like I must have, but having seen it now, I’m now certain that I hadn’t before. Anyway, it’s fun in many ways and if you’re looking for 90 minutes entertainment that doesn’t need you to think for a single second, it could be just the film for you.

The film poster showing Daphne (Amanda Bynes) dressed in a shirt with the USA flag standing in front of two beefeaters.
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The Happy Prince (2018)

The Happy Prince
Director: Rupert Everett
Writer: Rupert Everett
Cast: Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Colin Morgan, Emily Watson, Anna Chancellor, Tom Wilkinson, Béatrice Dalle, Edwin Thomas
Seen on: 6.6.2018

Plot:
Oscar Wilde (Rupert Everett) has been through hell and he knows that he won’t make it much longer. Reflecting on some of the most important relationships in his life – with his wife Constance (Emily Watson), his great love Alfred Bosie (Colin Morgan), his friend Robbie Ross (Edwin Thomas) – he keeps returning to one question: how did things end up the way they did?

Oscar Wilde is a fascinating figure and looking at the darker moments of his life is certainly interesting. Unfortunately, the way the story is told in this film doesn’t work at all. In fact, it’s pretty bad.

Film poster for The Happy Prince (2018), showing Rupert Everett as Oscar Wilde and Colin Morgan as Alfred Bosie Douglas walking down some steps in the sunshine.
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This Beautiful Fantastic (2016)

This Beautiful Fantastic
Director: Simon Aboud
Writer: Simon Aboud
Cast: Jessica Brown Findlay, Andrew Scott, Jeremy Irvine, Tom Wilkinson, Anna Chancellor, Eileen Davies
Seen on: 26.6.2017
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Plot:
Bella (Jessica Brown Findlay) works at a library and dreams of writing children’s books. But first, she has to get a handle on her life because it’s currently falling apart: because she has to check her locks a lot to make sure they’re really closed, she’s always late to work and her grumpy neighbor Alfie (Tom Wilkinson) has sicced her landlord on her who threatens to evict her if she doesn’t clean up her garden. The only trouble is that Bella really doesn’t like plants. But fortunately she can win over Alfie’s cook Vernon (Andrew Scott) to help her out. And there’s also the befuddled library patron and inventor Billy (Jeremy Irvine) who takes a liking to her and vice versa.

This Beautiful Fantastic tries very hard to be Amélie but fails on almost all levels, becoming sickly sweet and so very twee that I could barely stand it.

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Fun for Teens, References for Me

When St. Trinian’s came out here, I figured I had to see it, because of Rupert Everett, Stephen Fry, Colin Firth and Russell Brand. Plus, it’s always nice to see Lena Headey. I haven’t seen any of the old movies, nor read the book or had any other connection to St. Trinian stuff before. [Just so you know.]

I think it’s mostly a film aimed at teenagers [My teenage sis will love it, I think.] and men who get off on sexy school girls. Which can potentially make for a pretty weird crowd in the theatre.

Gemma Arterton (middle) will be in the next Bond… and she’s definitely a good choice, at least considering sex appeal.

Anyway, the humour was mostly a bit bland, boring so to say… It had the usual jokes. It was nice, but it didn’t leave me rolling on the floor.

Except when Colin Firth and Rupert Everett were seen together and the movie references just flew around.

Ms. Fritton (Rupert Everett): We met in college. It was another time.
Geoffrey Thwaites (Colin Firth): And Another Country.

Or when Geoffrey walks up to Ms. Fritton in his wet white shirt, which was so much more revealing than in Pride and Prejudice. [And while we’re at it, how come Anna Chancellor always gets the Miss Bingley roles?]

Well, summarising, it was nice, had some good scenes, but I just wasn’t the target group.

[SPOILER WARNING FOR MAMMA MIA!, OF ALL THINGS.]

[Oh, and btw, maybe you remember that when I posted about Mamma Mia! there was this comment, where Dee told me that Colin Firth couldn’t possibly be uncomfortable with portraying a gay character because he kisses Rupert Everett in St. Trinian’s. Well, he doesn’t. Sure, they get together in the end, but there’s never more than a hug seen on screen.
Which pissed me off. Seriously, people, I didn’t go to this movie to see them make out (although that would have been an attractive sight), but if you have two guys, who get it on together (regardless if one of them dresses up as or plays a woman or not), show them kissing, just as you would with a heterosexual couple. It is not shocking anymore (or, the people who are still shocked by this, need to be), it’s just plain weird when you have loads of special shoulder squeezes. Really.]

Further Reading:

An Interview with Anna Chancellor