Starring: Mandy Moore, Matthew Goode, Jeremy Piven
Director: Andy Cadiff
Running Time: 111 mins
Chasing Liberty is an American film about the teenage daughter of the President of the United States who, tired of being tailed by his secret service detail, slips their prying eyes while travelling in Europe.
The daughter of the US President feels frustrated at her lot in life as she’s left bored, without freedom on account of her father’s profession. Yes, Chasing Liberty is a lot like Roman Holiday, and it’s a pale imitation of that gorgeous classic.
But before we get into comparing Chasing Liberty to an all-time classic of cinema, let’s look at in the context it was released: a teen rom-com of the mid-’00s. From that perspective, the film seems a lot better, and although it’s never particularly funny, it’s full of all the sensibilities that would entertain fans of that very specific era and genre.
The story is pretty simple, and you’ll be able to see every twist and turn coming a mile off, but if you like seeing a cheesy romance set against some of the most iconic European backdrops you can imagine, then Chasing Liberty is certainly the film for you.
It’s neither as romantic nor as funny as teen rom-coms like 10 Things I Hate About You, but it’s at least not an irritating or shrill adolescent movie, instead proving more dull than anything else.
And that’s what really frustrated me about this movie, it tells its story in such a dull way, when it was proven over 50 years before that this story can make for one of the most entertaining films of all time.
With its ’00s style, Chasing Liberty was admittedly never going to have the elegance and charm of Roman Holiday, while Mandy Moore and Matthew Goode are no Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, lacking both chemistry and individual sparks.
The biggest issue, however, is that Chasing Liberty relies so simply on cheesy romantic tropes without ever really bothering to flesh its characters out and make their motivations a little more convincing or interesting. Everything is ultimately done out of ‘love’, a far cry from the interesting moral dilemmas thrown up in front of Gregory Peck’s character in Roman Holiday.
As a result, Chasing Liberty is a frustratingly simplistic and superficial movie that, despite being perfectly harmless and light-hearted, lacks the charisma and charm needed to make it funny, and pales in comparison to a classic film that told the same story far better many years before. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 6.5 overall.