Chasing Liberty

On her latest CD, Mandy Moore sings covers of songs by the likes of Elton John, Cat Stevens and Joan Armatrading. In this movie, she's covering Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. She's not a princess, but, as eighteen-year-old Anna Foster, she's American royalty, a president's daughter who abdicates her duties as a good girl to go AWOL in Europe with Ben (Matthew Goode), a Brit stud. OK, Prague and Venice look great, but blandness falls over this movie like a steady snow. Start with Moore: What happened to the spark she had in The Princess Diaries? She teases stuffy Ben, argues with her dad the prez (Mark Harmon) and bungee-jumps — all with a prim one-note prettiness. Director Andy Cadiff manages to suck the life out of such juicy actors as Jeremy Piven and Annabella Sciorra, who play flirtatious Secret Service agents. Chasing Liberty lacks the active verb it promises. It defines blah.

From The Archives Issue 365: March 18, 1982