13. What a Girl Wants
Release Year: 2003
Directed By: Dennie Gordon
Starring: Amanda Bynes, Colin Firth, Kelly Preston, Oliver James, Eileen Atkins, Jonathan Pryce, Anna Chancellor, Christina Cole
Release Date: Friday, May 1
Nothing will take a millennial right back in time than What a Girl Wants, a tried and true time capsule of the early aughts pre-teen scene. Slightly more elevated than a Disney Channel or Nickelodeon show, the film featured comedy queen Amanda Bynes in a more mature role than her Amanda Show work we’d become accustomed to. This was our moment, and it’s remained held dear for almost two decades. Along with all of the other throwback movies coming to Netflix this May, What a Girl Wants definitely ranks as one of the best for a thoroughly nostalgic watch.
Amanda Bynes stars in What a Girl Wants as Daphne Reynolds, an average American teenager who lives with her mother above a Chinese restaurant in New York City. Daphne grew up not knowing who her father was, but when she finds out, she boards a plane to England during the summer before she starts college. She’s in for the culture shock of her life when she discovers her father is actually Lord Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth), a British elite running for political office. Lord Henry wasn’t aware of Daphne’s existence, but before long, she’s a chaotic part of his life.
What a Girl Wants comes from director Dennie Gordon, who also helmed such movies as Joe Dirt and New York Minute — you know, the classics. Upon release, critics panned the film, resulting in a 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But this is one of those cases where they don’t really know what they’re talking about. The film doubled its $25 million budget and became a millennial classic. How could it not after being named after a Christina Aguilera hit? Don’t miss your blast from the past when What a Girl Wants begins streaming on Netflix at the top of the month.