Producers: David Parfitt, Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosove
Writers: Derek Guiley, David Schneiderman
Cast: Mandy Moore, Mark Harmon, Jeremy Piven, Annabella
Sciorra, Matthew Goode, Caroline Goodall,
out of 5
Poor Anna Foster (Moore)! Being the President’s daughter
just isn’t as glamorous as it looks. Her dad (Harmon)
won’t let her have any fun and the Secret Service keeps following
her around, ruining her big date and leading her to pine and pout
about freedom. The last straw is when her dad breaks his word about
letting her go to see The Roots concert in Prague without the
entourage. So naturally the rambunctious Anna takes it on herself
to teach her dad a lesson and go find some freedom, with a reluctant
yet studly British guy, Ben, she just happens to bump into. All of
this of course brings to mind one question: Why the hell are The Roots
in a movie with Mandy Moore?
Yeah so Anna and her boy Ben, who’s really a CIA agent put
on a rather unlikely mission, traipse around Europe trying to get
to Germany’s famed Love Parade, which is really like a paler
Carnival with more techno and less percussion. Along the way Anna
gushes about how great it is just to be free, as they run into some
obnoxiously colorful locals like a dippy British punk and a fat Italian
gondolier (because who else are you going to meet in Venice?) and
his fat Italian mama, and dodge some obnoxiously flirty Secret Service
agents. The musical accompaniment to this is predictably light and
poppy, though I’m happy to report that at no time does Mandy
ever find chance to sing.
As you can imagine this all pretty slight. It’s ridiculously
contrived and unfailingly predictable. It’s nothing more than
Mandy Moore’s European travelogue, but alas, it really isn’t
nearly as bad as I had hoped. You see as a fan of Ms. Moore’s
first feature, the achingly sincere adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’
doomed teen romance, A Walk To Remember, I was hoping for another
saccharine slab of nostalgic melodrama. Trust me, you don’t
need to know geometry to appreciate how perfectly square A Walk
To Remember is. But Chasing Liberty is just depressingly
generic and lazy. The dialogue has sitcom-like pop and zingers, and
there’s even some relatively risqué material in here like Anna’s
coy yet carnal come-ons, and, for heaven’s sake, even a joke
about why guys like girls with tongue piercings. The humorist Joe
Queenan actually came up with a term for this feeling—scheissenbedauern—literally
“shit regret.” This nicely explains how one can feel disappointed
that something one thought might be delectably awful just turns out
to be run-of-the-mill bad. And that’s what Chasing Liberty
is, just a garden variety bad teen movie.
Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.
Itís worth a full-price ticket.
Itís worth a matinee ticket.
Wait for video rental.
Check out the video from the library, if you must.
While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...