Chasing license


Issue: "Considering the heavens," Jan. 24, 2004

Pop star and actress Mandy Moore won legions of fans with a wholesome image that is at least a cut above the low standard set by the likes of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. She further cemented that reputation with her starring role in A Walk to Remember, a theologically shallow but nevertheless positive portrayal of a pastor's daughter.

Those expecting more of the same with Ms. Moore's new film, Chasing Liberty (rated PG-13 for sexual content and brief nudity), will be disappointed. If films were judged on a sliding scale, this slight movie about a U.S. president's only moderately rebellious teenage daughter would seem pretty benign. Predictable in its implausibility, the teen romance doesn't offer much in the way of surprises, expect perhaps to those who assume that a Mandy Moore vehicle will be completely wholesome.

Liberty (Ms. Moore) is an 18-year-old eager to experience life away from the watchful eye of her Secret Service guardians. A State visit to Prague provides just such an opportunity. Unfortunately for parents of the teenage girls at whom this movie is aimed, for Ms. Moore's character part of growing up involves losing her virginity to a hunky British traveling companion. The rating reflects content that is mostly implied, but even the implication will frustrate most parents.

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