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Chasing Liberty
DVD disk
Oct 8, 2004 By: The Arrow
Chasing Liberty order
Director:
Andy Cadifff

Actors:
Mandy Moore
Matthew Goode
Mark Harmon

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The wannabee rebellious daughter (Moore) of the US President (Harmon) goes on the lam in Europe with some stranger; a British chap (Goode) on a tiny-weenie scooter. But what she doesn’t know is that her new pal is really a Secret Service Agent assigned by the President to keep his offspring out of trouble and out of men’s pants. They get into adventures, they fall in love, she finds out the truth and you know the rest.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
If you don’t usually get anything out of love stories on screen, think of renting something else. CHASING LIBERTY was yet another syrupy opus that followed the cinematic lovey-dovey formula to the letter. Boy meets girl under false pretenses, they fall in love, a few montages kick in, she finds out the truth about him, boy loses girl, they get back together, the end credits roll and your life still sucks. But, if you enjoy having your sentimental buttons manipulated, then you might want to take this liberty on, since she does it in an obvious, yet classy, way. Two elements slightly elevated this one from the norm. First, the settings were quite gripping: I’m talking Berlin, Venice, Moore’s loose top and Prague. Second, Moore shines acting-wise while being charismatic and jaw-dropping good looking. She also gained some healthy weight in all the right places, if you know what I mean. YIPPEE!

It should also be said that Moore’s chemistry with brooding newcomer Matthew Goode was sweet, therefore lending some credibility to the tale at hand. I was rooting for these crazy kids! On the downside, along with the film’s blatant unoriginality, I was sorely disappointed in seeing the great Jeremy Piven holding back so much. The man is hilarious but was basically wasted here. I also wasn’t too fond of the “kooky character steals our money” subplot. Not only was the actor more annoying than fillings on tin foil, but the way that whole thing came to a close was ludicrous. I don’t know about you, but if somebody robs me...I beat the crap out of them and take my money back! I guess that doesn’t happen in PG-land. Lastly, that Sean Paul song that kept playing made me want to kill my TV and seeing Mandy Moore’s body double nude was definitely no substitute for the real thing. Come on, Mandy! Work with me here! But all in all, the film is exactly what you think it’s going to be and quite harmless to boot.
THE EXTRAS
Commentary by Mandy Moore and Matthew Goode: It's too bad that the chemistry that Mandy Moore and Matthew Goode shared onscreen didn’t translate well to this commentary track. Both actors didn't seem "into it" with a big loss as to what to say. Sure, we got tidbits of trivia here and there and lots of “shout outs” to people they enjoyed working with, but on the whole, this commentary failed to keep me fully engaged. Listen to it while you’re talking on the phone with a boring friend (like the Shootin' Surgeon or Indiana Sev) and spread the blandness around to two places as opposed to one.

Passport to Europe (5:41): This feature had Moore bobbling out of her top and me...thanking her for it! Moore and debonair Matt Goode share their thoughts about shooting in Europe here. At the same time, they drop some travel tips into the mix (they forgot to mention this one: get the studio to pay for everything!). A safe feature with striking scenery (much like in the film) and even more gorgeous scenery in white creamy skin...I’d eat her all day....Mandy Moore.

The Roots Concert (4:16): A concert clip from the band “The Roots”, who were also featured in the film. This feature was 4 minutes and 16 seconds too long for me. Just not my type of music…like…AT ALL! Hey, at least it wasn’t Sean Paul…thank the Lord, it wasn’t Sean Paul!

Additional Scenes (8:53): I loathe when they do this. Here, we have an unknown number of deleted scenes (by me anyways...you count them) strung together into one reel. No list of the scenes at hand, no choice in what scene you want to watch-- you just take the whole thing or leave it. So I left it. The next time you want me to watch deleted scenes MR. DVD Maker, how about you give me a list of "what’s on" the menu and a choice as to what I want to watch. BOO ON YOU! NOTE: From what I did see, the deleted scenes were more of the parents bickering and the love birds courting each other.

Gag Reel (5:12): This gag reel was mostly about Jeremy Piven either mucking up or doing improvisation. He was funnier here than he was in the film, because they let him run with it. Fun stuff! The best extra on the DVD!

We also get a Theatrical Trailer for the film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
CHASING LIBERTY was a connect-the-dots romance right out of the Hollywood teen romance cookie cutter. What you see is what you get, nothing more, nothing less. The only +'s here were that my future wife Mandy Moore was the lead, Matt Goode dude was good and the European landscapes were breathtaking...especially since I don’t have the coin to go there for real. The DVD’s audio/visual quality was Grade A, but the EXTRAS were mostly flat. At least the flick itself was better than Moore’s last one: HOW TO DEAL. Rent it if you’re in the mood for a generic romance or if, like me, you have a "thing" for Moore. Better yet, rent the much better A WALK TO REMEMBER instead.
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