Chasing Liberty on DVD
Romantic fluff? Indeed.
But it works.
Imagine being the teenaged daughter of the most powerful person on earth
and you just want to be a teenager living like a teenager.
This is the concept behind Chasing Liberty, a sweet romantic story that makes
you empathize with the likes of the Bush twins or Chelsea Clinton or the late
JFK Junior, young people growing up under a microscope.
Mandy Moore is Anna, first daughter and a precious teen for whom
the burden of her fathers job is a yoke under which she chafes. She wants
to have fun, to date, to act like an ordinary kid but every time she
turns around the Secret Service people assigned to protect her get in the way.
She ends up embarrassed and miserable and mad at the world and most especially
her father for ruining her life.
On the other hand, her antics are embarrassing to her father (Mark Harmon)
and threaten his credibility on the world stage. She doesn't get the Big Picture
and, as most of us were at that age, is basically a selfish teenager wrapped
up in her own needs and wants. So the leader of the beacon of freedom is forced
to deal with his daughters ultimately irrelevant and selfish foibles on
one hand, while balancing the overwhelming responsibilities of being US president
on the other.
He has a Secret Service agent (Matthew Goode) assigned to secretly protect
her while shes accompanying him a G8 summit in Prague, allowing her to
think shes on her own without actually being on her own. Naturally, all
hell breaks loose as Anna breaks free from her protectors (even the one she
thinks is just another guy) and prances around the city enjoying her newly-won
And, naturally, she and Ben (Goode) begin to respect each other and, by the
time the movies over, theyre hopelessly in love. And naturally,
again, when his true identity is revealed shes crestfallen and angry and
thats the end of the romance. Or is it?
Theres also a nice subplot involving two other agents (Jeremy Piven and
Annabella Sciorra) assigned to watch Anna and Ben from the background and the
romance that blossoms between them as well.
We were thrilled to find that the filmmakers avoided any kind of politics with
this movie. We expected to be beaten over the head with the usual liberal dogma
but here the politics of the president are never even hinted at instead,
they deal with the story itself and thats the way it should be unless
you're making a political movie and not a romantic comedy.
Theres nothing new here, though, nothing really groundbreaking. Its
kind of reminiscent of Roman Holiday, though not as good,
but in the end it works and is quite an enjoyable piece of fluff.
Wed never really heard of Mandy Moore before (we understand shes
some kind of Britney Spears contemporary), and we were really impressed with
her here. She plays the part very well and manages to be sweet and frustrating
at the same time in a performance thats quite believable. Goode is as
his name would suggest and the two have goode chemistry together. Harmons
fine, though he doesnt have a lot to do, and the other agents are quite
The DVD is available in two incarnations: anamorphic widescreen and Pan&Scan
and theyre sold separately. We reviewed the widescreen version, fortunately,
and thought the picture quality was very good. Colors are nice and rich and
the image is sharp and clean.
Audio is Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and its also very good, with nice
use of the surround channels at times.
You get quite a reasonable selection of extras as well. First up is a running
commentary by stars Moore and Goode, and there are also some deleted scenes,
a gag reel and a Passport to Europe tour with the stars reminiscing
about the experience and offering travel tips.
Theres also the entire concert performance of the Seed by
The Roots (this is a concert scene during the movie), and the trailer.
Chasing Liberty, from Warner Home Video
101 min. anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1, 16x9 TV compatible)/Pan&Scan (Sold
Separately), Dolby Digital 5.1 surround
Starring Mandy Moore, Matthew Goode, Jeremy Piven, Annabella Sciorra, Mark Harmon
Produced by David Parfitt, Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosove
Written by Derek Guley and David Schneiderman, directed by Andy Cadiff
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