Essentially a teen American redux of “Roman Holiday”, the Mandy Moore rom-com is lacking both laughs and sincerity despite some likeable leads and picturesque locals. This first of two similarly-themed projects about the dating life of the President’s daughter, ‘Chasing’ delivers a decently enjoyable little drama filled with stock supporting characters and a little in the way of adventure (bungee jumping is about as wild as it gets for this girl). On top of this is a romance that unlikely blossoms out of essentially animosity between the two leads throughout and the film has little in the way of credibility.
Moore is fine, but the role portrays this kid more as a spoiled brat than anything else so there’s little sympathy for her early on, but her natural charm does open up as the film progresses. Goode is a well-behaved but slightly naughty under the surface foil/love interest and the scenes of the antagonism between the two work well. Not helpful though is all the support with usually superb talents like Piven, Goodall, Harmon and Sciorra wasted in tedious subplots. Martin Hancock’s sleazy backpacker is an obvious “Notting Hill” rip-off but has less than a tenth of the charm or wit.
So it’s left up to Andy Cadiff’s pedestrian directing which takes us through assorted European touristy spots in the likes of Prague, Venice, Berlin, etc. The constant shifting of locale does help keep the pace up and keeps us distracted from all the teeny-bopper melodrama. There’s no sense of danger, no real antagonist to keep the story moving, and not a particularly impressive score. Still, Moore in lush locales bitching about being trapped while Goode stands by smirking proves slightly more enjoyable than you might expect. Empty and uninspiring, but a better showcase for Moore than her other recent films.