Two of my chosen movies for my comparison essays are,
Romance, the feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. What is love? An intense feeling of deep fondness. Shakespeare once quoted, “Love looks not only with eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.” (Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1.1.231-2) Chasing Liberty and First Daughter, was both American romantic comedy which were released in almost the same time in 2004. Both of these movies caught my eyes. Chasing Liberty, American romantic comedy film starring Mandy Moore and Matthew Goode. First Daughter is American romantic comedy released by 20th Century Fox which stars Katie Holmes and Marc Blucas. The passions and devotion of love has made these two movies an absolutely worth watching movies, especially the similarity in their narrative structure.
Chasing Liberty, Anna Foster has never had an ordinary life. At eighteen years old, she is the most protected girl in America; she is the First Daughter. But, she’s too frustrated with her overprotective father which is the President of the United States of America, Anna makes a deal with him that only two agents are allowed to guard her while she attends a concert in Prague. However, when she finds out that her father broke his promise, Anna gets extremely angry and goes on the run with Ben Calder, a handsome photographer which she runs into outside of the music club. Later, they travel together with the intention of going to the Love Parade in Berlin. But, Anna didn’t told Ben who she is but more importantly, Ben hasn’t told her who he is. Both of them do not know each other’s identity. Ben is supposed to keep an eye on the rebellious girl but falling in love with her wasn’t something he expected to do. Romance blossoms between the wild Anna and the cool, Ben as they travelled through Europe.
In the other hand, First Daughter, Samantha MacKenzie, was a daughter of the President of the United States, who enrolls at a college and develops a relationship with another student which is James Lansome, a secret service agent, undercover as a college student, Marc Blucas. The movie narrates a student who deals with exams, first love, and national security issues in this teen-oriented romantic comedy. Samantha MacKenzie is a seemingly ordinary because no one knows that her father happens to be the President of the United States. Samantha, however, would prefer to be as invisible as possible as she begins her studies at Redmond University. Then, she asks a favor of her father. She asked him to remove the two secret service agents who follow her everywhere. Her father agrees but then she doesn’t know that her father, the president sends in a young undercover agent, James which is Marc Blucas. Samantha and James became friends and later, love started to blossom between both of them.
Both movies has their best quote,
Chasing Liberty, “Moore to her father in the Oval Office: “You had that restaurant swarming with all your Secret Service. You ruined my date, and now I’m going to die before I ever get to third base! … I mean, second.”
First Daughter, “Holmes teases her love interest: “One quick call to the FBI or the CIA and I can get your blood type, third-grade class picture and satellite pictures of your ex-girlfriends’ homes.”
Both of these movies share the same narrations, the overprotective father, and the agents that the father sent without the daughter noticing. Then, they started to look for freedom outside their pampered world because they feel trapped in the White House and looking for something more exciting. Then, boy meets girl, girl meets boy and fell in love with agents. Both of the movies highlight the problems that famous people face with being hounded by the paparazzi. In the film Samantha mentions that the only time she had privacy was in utero. This reminded me of the famous quote by Queen Elizabeth’s favourite governess Marilyn Crawford, who said “Royals are only private in the womb.” However, there are basically two particular scenes that are similar, which are the beginning of both of the movies and the last kissing scenes of both movies.
Beginning of these two movies are so similar, love how their similarity in their trailer leads me to go further into these two movies deeper. Chasing Liberty, Moore is shown dancing around an ordinary bedroom, and then the shot zooms out the window to show the White House. The overzealous Secret Service spoils her date in a fancy restaurant. A befuddled Harmon, as the most powerful political figure in the world, awkwardly asks his cabinet advisers what his daughter meant by “getting to third base.” Both of these movies are so similar, guess there are just very slight differences in the movies. As for First Daughter, Holmes is shown talking to her parents in an ordinary room, and then shot zooms out the window to show the White House. The overzealous Secret Service spoils her swimming party. A befuddled Keaton, as the most powerful political figure in the world, awkwardly tries to comfort his daughter by pretending to have baked chocolate cake.
Another similarity of these two movies is the two last kissing scenes of both the movies. Chasing Liberty has the last kissing scenes which took place in an opera house in London. The last kissing scenes were also predictable as the First Daughter. Love the part of the scenes when the security agents came in, and he said,” Will they kill me if I kiss you?”, and Anna replied, “They won’t, I will if you didn’t kiss me”. Then they started kissing and then opera songs are played. It’s wonderful, how the kissing part and the opera by “Nessun Dorma” blends in so perfectly when they started to kiss. Both of the kissing scenes are almost alike, like girl meets guy, talks then kiss. First Daughter, the last scene of the movie, the last kissing scenes which is also the high point of the movie, although it was still predictable as hell, was the last kissing scene between Sam and James, wherein they meet each other halfway across the hall and finished speaking just in time for their lips to meet. That part was pretty good and so were the next 2-3 lines of dialogue that followed it.
Patterns create expectations which can be manipulated to create aesthetic responses. There are so many patterns in both of these movies, both of the colour movies, there’s beginning, and middle and ending of the movies like the time when they got to know each other, as a photographer and another as a college student. Both of the President’s daughters find out about the secret service agents that The Presidents sends out to keep their daughter safe. Later, the ends parts, when both of them leaves and later meet up again. There are more identical patterns like, both of the white house, view from outside of the white house and etc.
Both of these Chasing Liberty and First Daughter have the same genre, romantic comedy. However, Chasing Liberty is much more entertaining. A little more comedy would be nice, but there are some laughs sprinkled throughout. It is nice to finally see Moore playing someone her age, and not one of the small percentages of people that have to deal with death as a teenager. Chasing Liberty succeeds best when it moves from location to location, bringing in some new characters and new environments. Glued together by the tension that evolves between Anna and Ben, what results are a nice little love story that never gets too serious but avoids being goofy as well. The chemistry between Goode and Moore is quite good, though a little more depth into Ben’s character would have been nice.
Of course, like most romantic comedies of this nature, the ending is very predictable. Most of us probably able to guess the ending long before it arrived, including the “You lied to me speech,” the “I lied, but I still love you speech,” and the reunion scene to cap everything off. Chasing Liberty does draw itself out at the end, but it can only be expected. Chasing Liberty is a fun little movie that has its moments. Moore’s character is a little over-the-top at times, but she still makes for a good lead character. A few funnier scenes would have been nice, but as a romantic comedy, Chasing Liberty is fairly entertaining.
Likewise, the “First Daughter” might have had a chance too. The movie could still have had a romance in it without bowing down to every cliché a romantic comedy can have, from the “I just want to be a normal girl” speeches to the exquisite ballroom scene at the end where the girl is undoubtedly going to end up with the guy. There’s a lot more to college than meeting the perfect person, and the movie could have capitalized on all of the potential the concept of the story had.
In brief, love; brought two peoples from different status together and fell in love with each other. That’s basically how these two movies are about, two of the best romantic comedy back in 2004. Both of these two movies are actually something like the “Cinderella” movies too, because, both kind of like has restrictions and the not allowed to this and that and later, meet a prince (hero) of the film and fell in love.