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Chasing Liberty

movie reviewvideo review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Chasing Liberty

Starring: Mandy Moore, Matthew Goode
Director: Andy Cadiff
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 111 Minutes
Release Date: January 2004
Genres: Comedy, Romance


*Also starring: Jeremy Piven, Annabella Sciorra, Mark Harmon, Caroline Goodall, Beatrice Rosenblatt, Brian Caspe, Sam Ellis, Martin Hancock, Joseph Long, Stark Sands



Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4

As the first teen comedy of 2004, "Chasing Liberty" is not that bad; it's also not that good either. Evoking the spirit, if not the soul, of "Roman Holiday," it's the story of a reckless runaway U.S. President's daughter, Anna (Mandy Moore), whose Secret Service code name is Liberty.

This whiny, spoiled 18 year-old is fed up with the surveillance pros who scare off her potential suitors. So when Anna sees a chance to escape from her dogged agents (Jeremy Piven, Annabella Sciorra) on a pre-college trip to Prague, she hops on the back of a Vespa driven by a handsome hunk, Matthew Goode (Ben Calder). She doesn't know that he's a Brit working for the Treasury Dept., but he's well aware that she's a First Daughter who needs a protective escort. Not surprisingly, they fall in love en route to the Love Parade techno-gig in Berlin. It's a predictable sit-com formula, including the romantic inclinations of Anna's squabbling security detail.

First-time screenwriters Derek Guiley and David Schneiderman litter the derivative script with clich‚s and fail to create any real jeopardy, so there's no suspense or emotional growth in Anna's photogenic flight as captured by cinematographer Ashley Rowe. Director Andy Cadiff ("Leave It to Beaver") allows the potentially comedic sequences to drag on too long and, not surprisingly, the climax is lifted from "The Bodyguard." Yet songbird Mandy Moore exhibits an on-screen charisma that many of her cohorts, particularly Britney Spears, so far seem to lack. Mark Harmon and Caroline Goodall score as Anna's quarreling parents and Beatrice Rosen as her French pal. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Chasing Liberty" is a featherweight 4 that's specifically aimed at tweens. For the real thing, rent William Wyler's "Roman Holiday."

Copyright © 2004 Susan Granger

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