I didn't get to see Chasing Liberty so forgive me if I'm not able to compare them. It sure would've been interesting though as they have nearly the same plot.
Samantha McKenzie (Katie Holmes) is the US President's only child. For her entire life, she's been playing her role as a model daughter--smart, supportive, etc. faithfully, and so when she finally gets to go off to college and leave the White House, she sees this as an opportunity to be normal, to be herself and not just the president's daughter. But her father sends the secret service with her to follow her everywhere she goes and so she hardly feels free at all, until she meets James (Marc Blucas) in her Literature class. James helps her escape the Press one afternoon and shows her a wonderful time at the movies, and the carnival, all the while treating her like an ordinary girl, which is what she's been longing for her whole life. Of course, they eventually fall in love, but Sam soon finds out that James wasn't the ordinary college boy she thought he was but actually, another one of the secret service agents her father hired to keep an eye on her.
Pretty much like what I know of Chasing Liberty, except Sam isn't as rebellious as the first daughter in that movie, and here they call her 'Lucky Charm' instead of 'Liberty'. Anyway, aside from that, what I can say about this movie is that it's a bit difficult to keep yourself interested while watching it.
As I was watching, I constantly felt that there was something wrong in the film that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Maybe it was how the actors delivered their lines, which would've been funny and touching if the timing wasn't off, or the way the scenes were cut that they just didn't seem continuous, even though the next scenes were way predictable.
There was definitely something wrong with how they cut the first kissing scene between Sam and James. Sam had called James' name, but James was already looking at her when she did, and so the kiss looked like it was obviously planned and not a spur-of-the-moment thing for the characters. And what was the deal with Sam's clothes? I know she's not supposed to be a good dresser, but did her gowns really have to get uglier by the occasion? The bright eggplant purple dress she wore at the end of the film was clashing horribly with everything else on the set and made her stand out in a bad way.
The good thing I guess is that all the characters seemed necessary (though it was kinda corny that her bodyguards were named Bob and Dylan--showing that the director/writer/whoever is obviously a fan) and all the scenes were necessary for the story. The dialogue was actually pretty good, but there was just something about the acting of the cast that made them look like they were just saying their lines without meaning them. And it wasn't just the lines really, but even the part where Sam was dancing at the bar, she didn't seem like she was into it. It's pretty disappointing really, as Katie Holmes and Marc Blucas usually look so convincing in their roles in Dawson's Creek and Buffy.
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, but the film immediately goes back to its boring atmosphere once their kiss ends. The only other scene that I liked was when they were telling each other bits of trivia. And then the rest of the scenes all just had great potential that weren't realized.
I have to say though, this is the best movie of Katie Holmes I've seen. I really don't know why she always gets cast in sucky films (i.e. Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Disturbing Behavior, Phonebooth...).
Off the topic of the film, but still on the subject of watching it, let me just mention that I saw this film in Robinson's Place Ermita, a place I don't normally go to, with my friend's sister Francoise, a girl I don't normally talk to, and in fact just met earlier that same day. I don't know. Maybe it was the lure of the movies that led me to make a new friend, something I don't normally do. But in any case, I'm glad. It certainly was a different experience.
Now, off the topic of all that, but still about the same day, I'm also very happy that I got to spend what was left of the day with my other friend, an old one this time (I've known her for 11 years) who treated me to cake and coffee because it's her birthday. Aren't I just such a nice friend? Cornering the people I know with birthdays coming up so they don't forget to treat me? :P I'm so lucky I have the best friends on Earth.
Happy Birthday Jaecel! Oh, and Happy Birthday Roby, too!