Chasing Liberty

Directed by Andy Cadiff

> > May 2004

Chasing Liberty - Directed by Andy Cadiff
By Ingrid KeenanDoes every father wish he could send his teenaged daughter on a date with a crew of ultra-protective thugs or is that outdated yet? For U.S. President Foster (Mark Harmon), the dream is a reality and his teenaged daughter Anna (Mandy Moore) is doomed to a life of chaperoned chastity. Until, on a state visit to Europe, she gives the feds the slip and makes a break for freedom. Or so she thinks — turns out the handsome guy on a moped (a photographer, natch, played by Matthew Goode) who helps her escape is an F.B.I. agent in disguise and her father is actually monitoring her progress through Prague, Venice, Austria and Berlin. Really, it's just a pale imitation of the delightful Roman Holiday (1953), in which Audrey Hepburn plays a princess who escapes her obligations and runs straight into the arms of journalist Gregory Peck. If you're thinking about renting Chasing Liberty and you've never seen Roman Holiday, you should rent Roman Holiday. Hell, if you have seen Roman Holiday, rent it again. But does Chasing Liberty stand up? It's certainly fun enough — all very madcap, very sunny, very Eurodisney. Moore and Goode are cute and charming, and Jeremy Piven and Annabella Sciorra do the best they can with a cliché-ridden subplot about the F.B.I. agents chasing them down. In fact, it's hard to really dislike this bit of fluff — it succeeds perfectly at what it sets out to do: provide a good date movie for 16-year-olds with no real interest in watching the movie. The DVD is loaded with inane extras: a super-chirpy but unenlightening commentary by Goode and Moore, concert footage of the Roots, a gag reel that for some reason contains only Jeremy Piven's antics (is it possible that no one else was ever spontaneously funny?). The worst of it is the "Passport to Europe" featurette, in which Moore and Goode reveal their travel tips, which amounts to the sage advice that when you're in Prague, Venice, Austria or Berlin, you really should a) see the sights and b) bring your camera. Plus: trailer, additional scenes. (Warner)
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