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Film / What a Girl Wants

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What a Girl Wants is a 2003 teen comedy starring Amanda Bynes (The Amanda Show, All That). An average American girl named Daphne, employed by a banquet service and living with her Bohemian mother (Kelly Preston), finds out that her father (Colin Firth) is a wealthy British politician. She sets out to find him, causing trouble and finding love along the way.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Alpha Bitch: Clarissa, of course.
  • Appeal to Obscurity: Between Glynnis and Clarissa regarding how hard they have to work to maintain their social standing:
    Glynnis: "Look what happened to Olivia Dixon when she went to China last summer?"
    Clarissa: "Who's Olivia Dixon?"
    Glynnis: "Exactly."
  • Batman Gambit: Jocelyn Dashwood doesn't like her son sacrificing himself for political reasons. When Daphne comes around, Jocelyn is more than happy to help her out in getting to know her father better, therefore pushing him out of Alistair's manipulative hands.
  • Be Yourself
    "Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you are born to stand out?"
  • Blue Blood: Daphne's paternal family is of nobility, consisting her father, Lord Henry Dashwood, the Earl of Wycombe, and her paternal grandmother, Jocelyn Dashwood, the Countess of Wycombe. Daphne herself is apparently 39th in line to the British throne because of this.
  • Bowdlerization: Real Life Example. The original poster had Daphne flashing the peace sign. It was notably changed as America was entering the second Iraq War.
  • Britain Is Only London: Colin Firth's character owning a country estate in downtown London. Roger Ebert's review of the film contains a priceless quote in which he commented that that kind of real estate would have to be "worth more than Rhode Island".
  • British Stuffiness:
    Jocelyn:"No hugs, dear. I'm British. We only show affection to dogs and horses."
  • Cool Old Lady / Deadpan Snarker: Jocelyn Dashwood, the only member of the family to be immediately open to accepting Daphne's story.
  • It's a Costume Party, I Swear!: Successfully pulled on Daphne, who goes to a formal event in a tank top and ripped jeans. However, people thought she was a model at first, instead of improperly dressed, so it backfired.
  • Jerkass: Clarissa, Glynnis, and Alistair ( who knew that Libby was pregnant with Daphne, convinced her to leave, and then told Henry that there was someone else and withheld the knowledge of his daughter's existence for years.)
  • Luke, You Are My Father: When Daphne and Henry initially meet, Henry assumes she's another paparazzi journalist trying to get a photo of him, until she shows him the photo Libby gave her and explains that it was because her mother thought she should know what her father looked like.
  • Mama Bear: Libby to Glynnis: "Take your hands off my daughter or you won't get a scene. You'll get a Broadway musical."
  • Non Action Dress Rip: Daphne makes the dowdy dress beautiful and sleek with just a pair of scissors.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely:
    • Daphne, including the stair entrance.
    • Daphne passes on her tips in this regard to Peach and Pear; the dresses they wore for their coming-out party made them look fat, but when they next appear they are wearing more form-fitting green outfits.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Daphne finally realizes that her presence in England is causing both her and her father more harm than good, and returns home to America. What does Dad do? Drop everything in his life, including the Parliament seat he's been chasing for years, and run to America to be with her and her mother.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sort of;
    Daphne: (to Clarissa) If you take your nose out of the air for one second you'll see you're designer, I'm vintage. You've got a mansion, I've got a five floor walkup. You're a snotty little miss cranky pants and I go with the flow, so why would you ever think for one second that I'd ever have the same taste in guys? So here's a little pointer for you. Get over yourself and stop trying to be my daddy's little girl because I'm not going anywhere.
  • Sudden Soundtrack Stop: Lord Henry Dashwood plays some wild air guitar in leather pants until his fiancee walks in on him, bringing the dancing and the music to an abrupt halt.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: A dark example as Henry discovers that Alistiar knew all along about Libby being pregnant and kept it from him so he wouldn't "throw your life away" chasing her. Henry responds by punching Alistiar in the face.
  • Unusual Euphemism: "Holy poo on toast."
    "I don't give a FLYING FART IN SPACE..."
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: Henry insists that Daphne must be his daughter because she has his eyes. Despite the fact that Colin Firth has small, brown eyes and Amanda Bynes has large, green eyes.