Wild Child

Film , Comedy
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‘That’s the final straw, you are going to England!’ belts out Malibu dad Aidan Quinn as he sends his brat daughter Emma Roberts across the Atlantic for yet another film set at a British boarding school. Roberts’s roller-coaster accent of rising vowels and spoiled ‘be-atch’ attitude don’t go down well among the jolly hockeysticks crowd, but those girls, led by uppity head Georgia King, aren’t so palatable either. It takes Roberts’s level-headed roommates to pesuade her of the benefits of a more agreeable approach to life.

Adult co-stars Shirley Henderson and Natasha Richardson struggle valiantly as a matron and headmistress and Daisy Donovan and Nick Frost have amusing small roles as a teacher and a hairdresser, but young Alex Pettyfer (‘Stormbreaker’) as the headmistress’s dishy son is as wooden as Gordon Brown at a Southwold photocall. The directing by Working Title’s longtime editor Nick Moore (‘Notting Hill’, ‘Love Actually’) shows little knack for comic timing – but the script offers few gags beyond fart jokes and the basest of cultural-clash observations. This celebration of mid-Atlantic compromise is one for the youngest and most forgiving of teenage girls.

Release details

Rated: 12
Release date: Friday August 15 2008
Duration: 98 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Nick Moore
Screenwriter: Lucy Dahl
Cast: Aidan Quinn
Emma Roberts
Georgia King
Alex Pettyfer