2004-01-30 / Community

‘Chasing Liberty’ – First Daughter’s Dilemma

‘Chasing Liberty’ – First Daughter’s Dilemma

Britney Spears is missing the boat.
Competition in the form of Mandy Moore has made the difficult transition from singing to film. Moore has scored with three hit movies to Spears’ one dud, "Crossroads." So far, Britney’s claim to fame is a rehash of the same bouncy rap song and her navel.

Moore’s third hit film, "Chasing Liberty," is a shrewd marketing concept in its modernization ofA0the classics, "Roman Holiday" and "It Hap pened One Night." The idea, which is likely unknown to most teenagers, is that a privileged young daughter of royalty or high-level politics from escapes from her gilded cage to have a fling with the real world and a handsome older man. However, Prince Charming has his own agenda, which is conflicted when the two fall in love.

While "Roman Holiday" won then-newcomer Audrey Hepburn an Oscar, the only accolades likely to go to Moore will be from her legends of adolescent fans. Nonetheless, as U.S. Presidential daughter, Anna Foster, she is fresh and funny and sure to make "moore" movies to satisfy her following. Of course, this is what Spears should be doing (she can’t count on her paper thin voice or her looks to last forever).

Living under constant Secret Service surveillance, Liberty (Anna’s code name) is first seen through a window in the White House preparing for a hot date.A0She’s trying on cutesy clothes and mouthing the words, "Of course, you can kiss me." However, the date goes in the dump er when her over zealous bodyguards muscle up a few of her potential boyfriend’s buddies. Frus tra ted and upset, Anna pouts and complains to her Presidential parents, James and Michelle Foster (Mark Har mon and Caroline Goodall) about her lack of liberty (code name, notwithstanding).

An opportunity for rebellion arises during her family’s trip to Prague for a summit meeting.A0 After hooking up with French ambassador’s daughter/party girl Gabrielle (Beatrice Rosen), Anna dyes her hair dark and dresses un-Presidentially punkish. Before long, she’s dancing at a disco, before finding herself out on the street and on the back of motorbike driven by hunky Englishman Ben Calder (Matthew Goode). She begs Ben to rescue her from the agents85in particular, an overly protective pair, Alan Weiss (Jeremy Piven) andA0 Cynthia Morales (Anna bella Sciorra), who ultimately become an item themselves.

While Anna believes she’s entering into a wild romance with the good-looking Brit, Ben is, in fact, an agent himself under orders from the First Daddy to let Liberty sew a few oats85within reason. The dilemma is that Anna and Ben find themselves falling for each other. They even pose as young newlyweds to secure a room from a soft-hearted homeowner when their money is stolen. Professional that he is, Ben keeps pretending to turn cold when Moore’s character tries to make like a honeymooner. This causes some sexual confusion that stays with them through various scenic European locations.

Nonetheless, director Andy CadiffA0 ("Home Improvement") keeps the cleverness coming, milking Moore’s adorability for every last drop. When things drag, wacky street hipster MacGruff (Martin Hancock) appears to bring some buoyancy to the story (literally, in fact, during a bungee-jumping sequence).

Teenage girls should go to "Chasing Liberty," if for no other reason than to see where Britney is going wrong.

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