What a Girl Wants
TV’s Amanda Bynes takes London society by bare midriff and wins the heart of a teen musician (Oliver James in an impressive debut) in this contrived cookie-cutter romantic comedy directed by Dennie Gordon (Joe Dirt
). Bynes stars as Daphne Reynolds, the daughter of a hippie-musician American mom (Kelly Preston) and an upper-crust British dad (Colin Firth). Her parents met coincidentally in North Africa, were married in a tribal ceremony and then were forced apart by his aristocratic family. At age 17, Daphne decides to find the father who doesn’t know she even exists, in a cute, sugary and utterly predictable story about independence, culture clash and the value of being her father’s prim and proper debutante daughter when it means she can’t be her spirited, scrappy self.