What a Girl Wants
- compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2003 1 Jan
Although the story in
Loren Eaton (Focus on the Family) says, "Fortunately,
David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says, "Its strong moral message reinforces the important role a parent plays in a child's life and the sometimes courageous sacrifices demanded of a parent's love. As such, some parents may feel the film is fine for their pre-teens as well."
Douglas Downs (Christian Spotlight) says, "Yeah, it's a chick flick. I'll admit it, I liked it. It is so rare to find films for the MTV generation that are not saturated with offensive material.
Holly McClure (Crosswalk) says, "This is obviously an old fashioned fairy tale with a modern day twist, but it confirms one thing that is timeless: how important it is for children to have both parents in their lives. The message about being true to yourself and taking pride in who you are without trying to be something you're not is also important. This movie takes a stand against conformity with a positive and uplifting message to give to the younger generation."
Alan Boyer (Preview) says it "positively portrays the bonds between parents and children and the sacrifices of family love, and it has few offensive elements."
Movieguide's reviewer describes it as "a sometimes funny, zany, tender movie. It strikes a chord as it speaks to the heart of one thing that every daughter truly wants and needs— a caring father who puts her first." But how does it compare to
In contrast, Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films) lists three ways in which the movie improves upon
Michael Medved (Crosswalk) disagrees, preferring
Michael Elliott (Movie Parables) calls it "a mildly entertaining, if not particularly innovative, film. It happens to be elevated by the fresh-faced appeal of Amanda Bynes … and the solid presence of Colin Firth."
But Phil Boatwright (Movie Reporter) is not as impressed with Bynes. He describes her as "simply a Warner Brothers version of Disney's teen TV sensation-for-the-moment, Hilary Duff. Amanda's comic abilities consist mainly of the old stumble gag. She trips every few minutes just to remind the audience that she is a 'typical' awkward American teenager." He concludes, "If your kids liked
While many Christian critics seem pleased to have a film with clear positive messages, no matter how derivative the storytelling might be, most mainstream critics find this familiar fairy tale little more than "harmless … a cheap knockoff."