Analysis of What A Girl Wants



The movie What A Girl Wants could be said to be a modern take on Pygmalion. It focuses mainly on the relationship of Daphne Reynolds and her parents. Because Daphne’s dad was not in their lives, Daphne and her mother’s relationship is very close. Although they are a single- parent family they could be classified as a traditional single- parent family, where once the male is gone that role is delegated to the mother. In some occasions the roles reverse and the child becomes the parent and the parent the child. The family in What a Girl Wants start out as a non- traditional, single- parent family and they end up as a typical nuclear family. The movie is mainly regarding Daphne’s search for her dad and viewers get to see their relationship blossom.





What A Girl Wants concentrates on the effect of society on individuals and situations. Daphne gets into many mishaps in England when she tries to fit in with what society expects of a person of her status. People’s views affect families whether in reality or on screen. Daphne is expected to conform to what society decrees is proper behaviour; this has a negative impact on her relationship with her father who is a very important politician in the middle of elections. Daphne’s mum and dad were also affected by society’s views. When Daphne’s dad- Henry who could be classified as upper- class and Daphne’s mum- Libby who is classified as lower middle- class got married everyone (family members etc.) found their marriage to be unacceptable because of the difference in status. They felt that Henry had married below him and eventually their relationship ended because of that. In What a Girl Wants it is society that prevented relationships from happening. In Looking For Alibrandi it is the Italian beliefs, customs and practices. But in both texts, the same results were achieved- separation.





What A Girl Wants causes you to wonder whether your status, wealth and social rank really matter. Viewers are presented with the question; is what society thinks or expects really what you have to do?


Of course in every fairytale there is an evil character- in this case, Henry’s fiancé and her daughter. An example of Libby and Daphne’s close relationship is demonstrated when wicked stepmother tries to ruin our young heroine\'s dreams, her real mother bravely steps in. "Take your hands off my daughter," she tells the manipulative shrew before her. "You don\'t want to cause a scene," the shrew replies, to which mommy dearest manages a brilliant comeback. "Oh honey, if you don\'t take your hands off my daughter, you\'ll get more than a scene, you\'ll get a Broadway musical." Libby protects her daughter against the fiancé when Daphne is incapable herself (due to emotional distress). In Looking For Alibrandi the villain would be Poison Ivy, except towards the end Josie discovers that Ivy is not really ‘poisonous’ and that she misjudged her.


There are hints in the movie of hereditariness, when Daphne and her father sit down to breakfast, they both eat their toast the same way; first spreading a layer of butter, then a layer of jam, then fold it half, wipe a bit off with their little finger, lick the finger then bite into the toast. There is another scene when Daphne and Henry both get up in the middle of the night to have Coco Pops- something they both like. The movie suggests that traits and behaviour is hereditary in families, this is also true in real life. Hereditariness is also present in Looking For Alibrandi in the way the Josie and her father both act, their tempers etc.


The difference between What A Girl Wants and Looking For Alibrandi is that the relationship in What A Girl Wants starts because the child goes looking for her father while in Looking For Alibrandi the interaction/ relationship started out of necessity.


A feature that is in both texts is the grandmothers, except they are in different roles. In What a Girl Wants the grandmother is very nice and helps Daphne while in Looking For Alibrandi the grandmother has a sterner role but she does help Josie come to realize some things about