The world would be a better place if every President's daughter looked like Mandy Moore. At the very least, we have to settle for Chasing Liberty, and things could definitely be worse.
Moore is Anna Foster, the First Daughter of the United States (the title of the movie used to be called First Daughter, but a Katie Holmes movie of similar content is coming out with that title later in the year). She is 18-years old but has hardly been able to experience life, especially a love life, considering the fact that secret service agents follow her everywhere and that her dad will eventually hear about anything that she does. So, one day in Prague, she manages to elude her protectors with the help of Ben Calder (Matthew Goode), a young man who just happens to be waiting outside. Of course, as they skirt around Europe they begin to fall in love; the only problem is that Ben hasn't told her that he himself is a Secret Service agent.
Of all of Moore's films, which have ranged from overly dramatic (A Walk to Remember) to, well, overly dramatic (How to Deal), she finally seems to have found her niche here. Chasing Liberty is much more lighthearted than her previous ventures, and ultimately much more entertaining. A little more comedy would be nice, but there are some laughs sprinkled throughout. It is nice to finally see Moore playing someone her age, and not one of the small percentage of people that have to deal with death as a teenager.
Chasing Liberty succeeds best when it moves from location to location, bringing in some new characters and new environments. Glued together by the tension that evolves between Anna and Ben, what results is a nice little love story that never gets too serious but avoids being goofy as well. The chemistry between Goode and Moore is quite good, though a little more depth into Ben's character would have been nice.
Of course, like most romantic comedies of this nature, the ending is very predictable. My roommate and I were able to guess the ending long before it arrived, including the "You lied to me speech," the "I lied, but I still love you speech," and the reunion scene to cap everything off. Chasing Liberty does draw itself out at the end, but it can only be expected.
Chasing Liberty is a fun little movie that has its moments. Moore's character is a little over-the-top at times, but she still makes for a good lead character. A few more funnier scenes would have been nice, but as a romantic dramedy, Chasing Liberty is fairly entertaining.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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