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Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.


Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris


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Movie review

A date movie with Moore

By BILLY NORRIS
Published January 12, 2004

Mandy Moore and Matthew Goode
[Warner Bros.]
Mandy Moore and Matthew Goode star in the young adult romantic comedy Chasing Liberty.

Billy Norris
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris

Chasing Liberty

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Anna Foster (Mandy Moore), or Liberty by her Secret Service code name, is just your average 18-year-old except that her father (Mark Harmon) is the president of the United States. Though she tries to lead a normal life, she feels smothered by the entourage of Secret Service agents overseeing her every move. So on a trip to Prague, Anna makes a deal with her dad that would allow her to attend a concert with a European friend and just two agents following her. When she discovers that her dad failed to hold up his end of the deal after spotting more agents in the crowd, she makes a quick getaway with the help of a friendly stranger on a motorcycle. The stranger, Ben Calder (Matthew Goode), reluctantly becomes Liberty's escort through Europe as they make their way to the Berlin Love Parade. She starts to fall for him, but he has one big secret standing in the way of his being able to reciprocate.

My View: When this film got started, I thought we had a clone of The Lizzie McGuire Movie. I had the strangest feeling of dejavu for the first half hour or so, but it actually developed into a decent movie. The plot was cut and dried, but the way the story was told kept it light and interesting. Mandy Moore is the most promising pop singer-turned-actor out there. She is not just another pretty face. Her romantic interest, newcomer Goode, held his own, and their chemistry was good. There were some sexual overtones in the film, making it inappropriate for Moore's younger fans. But this is one of the few "chick flicks" that I have been able to sit through with few complaints.

Recommendations: Heed the rating; it's there for a reason. Sexual content and language are moderate. Valentine's Day is right around the corner, guys; think about taking a date to this one.

Grade: B

- Billy Norris, 16, is in the 10th grade at Seminole High School and a former member of the Times X-Team.

[Last modified January 9, 2004, 13:02:47]

Here's the rest of today's Xpress

  • Getting 'Real'
  • Express yourself

  • IT!
  • Making connections

  • Movie review
  • A date movie with Moore

  • X-files
  • Can't vote? Then report
  • Back to Top

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