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What a Girl Wants Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 20

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Young audiences may welcome this movie, but girls, and boys, should want more.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The movie is clearly intended for girls between the ages of 9 and 15, and for the more civilized of their brothers, and isn't of much use to anyone else.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    There's nothing wrong with fairy tales, but they don't have to be formulaic. A movie like this would have benefited from a blending of the fanciful and the inventive.

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  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    In her sassy but scrubbed way, Bynes is a real charmer, and What a Girl Wants is a likable throwaway.

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  • See all What a Girl Wants reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 10+

Too-cute with a few iffy moments, but tweens will eat it up.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that What A Girl Wants is light-hearted and fun, but also contains a strong word or two ("bitch," "hell"), and themes surrounding illegitimacy, divorce, and father-daughter relationships. It also contains a fair share of references to high-end goods (Gucci, Prada, Rolls-Royce, etc.) and logos for mundane items like Virgin Atlantic, Tropicana, and Coco Puffs. Drinking is visible over meals and social events. An occasional push and punch occurs, too. There's some inappropriate flirting and references to a man's genitals.

  • Families can talk about the way Daphne tried to "fit in" and whether Henry was doing the same. What were the most important things Daphne and Henry learned from each other? They should also Henry's decision to change direction and what the impact is likely to be.
  • Does this movie remind you of any others? What are some themes that recur in movies about teen girls?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The film highlights the importance of being true to yourself. The value of family, particularly the special relationship between father and daughter, is also underscored.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: While Glynnis, Clarissa, and other social-climbing Brits place class and status above all else (and will resort to sneaky behavior to hold on to it), Daphne, Henry, and Libby are down-to-earth idealists who ultimately hang on to what they believe is important.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Slapstick humor leads to lots of falling down, and the loss of tempers results in occasional pushing and punching, but no blood or injuries. A rifle is used for skeet shooting.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Some mild sexual innuendo, plus inappropriate flirting and light touching, and references to past sexual relationships and reproduction. Daphne's outfits sometimes reveal her midriff. One plot point includes reference to a dog biting a man's "testicles."

  • language false2

    Language: Words like "hell," "bitch," and "ass" are audible, but very occasionally.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Logos for Virgin Atlantic, Coco Puffs, and Tropicana, and high-end vehicles (Jaguars, Rolls Royces, BMW) are frequently shown. High-end fashion brands like Gucci, Prada, and Ralph Lauren are sometimes referenced and/or visible. Featured music ranges from songs by James Brown to Michelle Branch.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adult alcohol consumption (wine, champagne) is visible at weddings and other social functions. Hard liquor is often consumed over meetings and/or alone while contemplating life.