Chasing Liberty (9/10)

Copyright © 2003 by Tony Medley

I donít like reviewing good movies. Thereís not much upside, except to spread the word that itís good, and the downside is that the reviewer raises expectations so much that the film can become a disappointment. Ergo, this will be short and sweet.

Anna Foster (Mandy Moore) finds herself in an impossible situation. Sheís a gorgeous 18-year-old whose father, James (Mark Harmon) is President of the United States. Because of her intimidating position she canít get a date. On a Presidential trip to Prague, however, she steals away, meets Ben Calder (Matthew Goode) and starts an odyssey to try to keep away from family and Secret Service and have some fun and romance. Sheís chased by a couple of Secret Service Agents, Alan Weiss (Jeremy Piven), and Cynthia Morales (Annabella Sciorra), who are relationship-challenged themselves.

While this sounds syrupy and hackneyed, I didnít go in with low expectations because of Director Andy Cadiff, who was responsible for Home Improvement and Spin City, two of the better TV sitcoms of the Ď90s. And Cadiff does not disappoint.

Co-stars Moore and Goode are extraordinarily attractive, have good onscreen chemistry, and are good actors, to boot. Reminiscent of It Happened One Night (1934), this is a happy, feel good romantic comedy. Complimenting the Capra-esque script (Derek Guiley & David Schneiderman) is stunning cinematography (Ashley Rowe), which gives us scenery of Prague, Berlin,  and Venice, Italy that would be good enough for a travelogue. Even the modern music was good. I loved everything about Chasing Liberty.

January 6, 2004

The End