Wild Child (film)

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Wild Child
Wild child poster.jpg
Promotional film poster
Directed by Nick Moore
Produced by Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner
Diana Phillips
Written by Lucy Dahl
Starring Emma Roberts
Alex Pettyfer
Natasha Richardson
Linzey Cocker
Aidan Quinn
Shirley Henderson
Music by Michael Price
Cinematography Chris Seager
Edited by Simon Cozens
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates August 15, 2008 (2008-08-15)
Running time 98 minutes
Country United States
United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $20 million
Box office $21,972,336

Wild Child is a 2008 British-French-American teen romantic comedy-drama film starring Emma Roberts, Georgia King, Alex Pettyfer and Natasha Richardson. Wild Child is Richardson's last film appearance.


Poppy Moore (Emma Roberts) is a seemingly spoiled teenager living in Malibu, California with her father Gerry (Aidan Quinn). In a wild prank with all her friends, she ruins/gives away her father's girlfriend's belongings. Her father returns home and angrily informs her that she is going to an English boarding school to straighten her out.

Arriving at Abbey Mount, Poppy refuses to acknowledge the authority of head girl Harriet Bentley (Georgia King) making an instant enemy. Authoritarian and supercilious Harriet has used the authority of her position, her family's connections with Abbey Mount, and the school’s tradition of using prefects to enforce its rules to effectively bully who she pleases. The girls at the school are afraid of Harriet though the teachers regard her as an exemplary pupil. Harriet has an obsessive crush on the son of the school’s headmistress Mrs Kingsley. However it is implied that Mrs Kingsley is not fond of her Head Girl despite Harriet’s efforts to ingratiate herself to her. Harriet is also the captain of Abbey Mount’s lacrosse team though she lacks any real ability as a player and the team performs poorly against other schools.

Poppy does not get along with the girls in her room Drippy (Juno Temple),Kiki (Sophie Wu), Josie (Linsey Crocker) and Kate (Kimberly Nixon) She does not abide by the school rules and sneaks out after lights out. There is a fire drill before she can get back to the room and unknowingly meets the headmistress's son, Freddie (Alex Pettyfer). Later, Poppy and Harriet get into a fight after Poppy displays her disdain for the lacrosse team and insults Harriet calling her "Horseface". Freddie observes the fight and flirts with Poppy, making Harriet jealous which amuses Poppy who mocks her in front of the other team players.

Poppy is called to see Mrs Kingsley who rather than punish her for fighting displays understanding and support. Isolated and upset Poppy is approached by Kate and she tells her that she has been struggling since the death of her mother in a car crash. Kate agrees to help Poppy get expelled from Abbey Mount and obtains the support of the other room mates. A series of pranks fail to result in punishment from Mrs Kingsley, enraging Harriet who sees Poppy as an inferior and threat to her status over the other girls and the system she upholds. Harriet is also jealous of Freddie's attention to Poppy. Kate suggests that Poppy targets Freddie as Mrs Kingsley has forbidden any Abbey Mount girl to have contact with him.

After attending a shopping trip where Poppy changes her hair from blonde to its natural brunette the girls attend the school disco. Poppy promptly upstages Harriet, who has dressed as Keira Knightly from the film "Pride and Prejudice" to attract Freddie,instead Poppy dances with and later kisses Freddie. The morning after the disco, with the girls hungover, Poppy is challenged by Mrs. Kingsley to make an effort at Abbey Mount. Poppy against Harriet's wishes takes part in a match against another school and discovers her talent as a lacrosse player. Poppy's success results in Mrs Kingsley replacing Harriet as captain. Poppy trains and motivates the Abbey Mount team leading them to victory after victory.

Poppy goes on a date with Freddie and realizes that he is more than just a scapegoat to be used to obtain her expulsion from the school. However after leaving her computer open, Poppy's emails are hacked and rewritten by Harriet. The forged e-mails are then given to the girls and Freddie. The forged emails that suggest Poppy has been using everyone at Abbey Mount for her own advantage—laughing at the idiocy of her new friends and the foolishness of Freddie. All her roommates are hurt and devastated by the lies. Poppy loses her friendships and relationship with Freddie

Feeling alone and upset, Poppy retreats to a quiet corner of the school kitchen and plays with her souvenir lighter. Absorbed and unthinking she accidentally lights a thread at the bottom of the kitchen curtains setting them alight, but quickly puts it out. After hearing footsteps Poppy leaves the scene leaving the lighter behind. When she returns to her room, she sees the building in flames, supposing the flames were not originally extinguished. She and Kate get everyone out of the school, but Jennifer "Drippy" Logan (Juno Temple) is missing. Poppy remembers Drippy's cravings for ice-cream and runs into the building - forgetting her own safety - and rescues Drippy from the freezer. Freddie finds Poppy's lighter after the fire brigade extinguish the building and returns it to her, still angry.

After an assembly with Mrs. Kingsley who informs the pupils that the fire was not an accident and demands that the culprit come forward. Poppy confesses to starting the fire and after doing so, discovers a lacrosse team photo from 1977 and learns her mother both went to her school and was captain of the team. Mrs. Kingsley has no choice but to propose her for expulsion before the school honor court, a trial by peers system. Freddie and Poppy apologise to one another and make-up.

The honour court is called into session with a gleeful Harriet prosecuting Poppy and demanding her expulsion from Abbey Mount to the disapproval of Mrs Kingsley. During Harriet's questioning Poppy tells the court of how she has changed since coming to Abbey Mount and how she now feels part of the school. Harriet is openly contemptuous of Poppy's address which again leads to Mrs Kingsley's displaying her disapproval. The girls discover that it was Harriet who wrote the emails and attend the court to show support to Poppy. Kate first and then the other girls in turn stand up and tell Mrs Kingsley that they were with Poppy at the time of the fire. The show of support for Poppy spreading among all the pupils present (Including Harriet's bullied "maid" ) thus sabotaging the court proceedings.

The show of support for Poppy among the pupils goads Harriet into accidentally disclosing her knowledge of the lighter and inadvertently that she was the actual cause of the fire by relighting it. Harriet's two deputy prefects Jane and Charlotte pick up on this joined by Mrs Kingsley. Poppy directly accuses Harriet of restarting the fire and declares her innocence to the court. Initially reacting with smug confidence and indignant anger at being accused the questioning by Jane, Charlotte and Mrs Kingsley rapidly unnerves Harriet.

Shocked and infuriated at the turn of events and faced with the disintegration of her control over the pupils at Abbey Mount Harriet flies into a hysterical rage, railing furiously at Poppy, shouting angrily that Poppy had ruined everything for her at Abbey Mount and that she had "Only finished what you started!" An angry Mrs Kingsley stops the honor court and orders a now shattered Harriet to her office. Harriet is later shown stripped of her position of Head Girl and expelled in disgrace from Abbey Mount. Harriet's formerly loyal deputy prefects, Jane and Charlotte, then humiliate her in front of her parents.

The film ends with Poppy and the lacrosse team in the finals. Poppy's father comes to visit and is taken back by how much she looks like her mother. They win the finals and Poppy celebrates with her father, who is proud of the person she has returned to. The credits show her friends and Freddie in Malibu with her, declining a call from her Malibu friend, deciding her school friends were better anyway.



The boarding school in the film was filmed at Cobham Hall in Kent.[1]


Wild Child was released in the United Kingdom on August 15 taking fifth place at the box office with $2,196,366[clarification needed] from 359 cinemas with an average of $6,118[clarification needed]. In its fourth weekend, it dropped to twelfth place. As of November 2, 2008, Wild Child has made an unexpected $8,235,794[clarification needed]. In Australia, Wild Child was released September 18 taking fourth place with only 93 cinemas, making $315,114.[2] The following week, it made a 60% increase with $566,918[3] but still slipped to 6th place. On October 16, Wild Child fell to 11th. As of November 14, 2008, Wild Child's release in Australia has yet again surprised officials with its success making US$3,268,424[3] (A$4,236,579.[4] The film has been released in many other countries, proving popular in some: the Netherlands ($1,553,825[clarification needed]) and not so popular in others. As of January 4, 2008, the film had grossed $19,786,125[clarification needed] worldwide but was expected to reach $20 million[clarification needed] once released in bigger markets: France, Germany and Russia around December or January. Universal had planned a North American release in the summer of 2009, but canceled it and chose to release the movie directly to DVD.

Wild Child has a 42% "rotten" rating at Rotten Tomatoes, based on 21 reviews with the consensus that "More mild than wild. This tween comedy mess falls flat on its face due to poor characters, poor direction and poor jokes".[5] The Sun Online gave the film 2/5 saying "WILD? More like mild, unless you think short skirts and “horse face” put-downs are outrageous." Though Urban Cinefile gave Wild Child a much more favourable review stating "The film has an energy and honesty about it: it's lively, funny and smart and the characters are appealing."

DVD release[edit]

Wild Child was released on DVD in the United Kingdom on December 8, 2008. In Australia, it was released on January 15, 2009. In the United States, it was released directly to DVD on November 17, 2009.


The "Movie Soundtrack Party Album" is the soundtrack for the film of the same name. The soundtrack was available in the United Kingdom and Australia on August 18, 2008. In the United States, the soundtrack has not been released and it was expected for early 2009.

Track listing
  1. "Shut Up and Drive" - Rihanna
  2. "Let Me Think About It" - Ida Corr feat. DJ Fedde le Grand
  3. "About You Now" - Sugababes
  4. "Say It Right" - Nelly Furtado
  5. "I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me" - Annie
  6. "If This Is Love" - The Saturdays
  7. "Heartbreaker" - will.i.am feat. Cheryl Cole
  8. "Sweet About Me" - Gabriella Cilmi
  9. "Can't Speak French" - Girls Aloud
  10. "Murder on the Dancefloor" - Sophie Ellis-Bextor
  11. "Ice Cream" - New Young Pony Club
  12. "Kiss with a Fist" - Florence and the Machine
  13. "Foundations" - Kate Nash
  14. "You Think I Don't Care" - Jack McManus
  15. "Come Around" - Timbaland ft. M.I.A.
  16. "Tambourine" - Eve
  17. "Real Wild Child" - Sarah Harding
  18. "Wild Child" - The Cat Eat Cat Dog Game
Other songs

The following songs appeared in the movie and in trailers, although they were not included on the soundtrack for the film.

  1. Imran Hanif - "Set 'Em Up"
  2. Goose - "Black Gloves"
  3. Robbie Williams - "Angels"
  4. Children of Bodom - "Roadkill Morning"
  5. Britney Spears - "Toxic" (Instrumental only, used on trailer)
  6. Lindsay Lohan - "Playground"
  7. Everlife - "Real Wild Child"
  8. will.i.am - "I Got It from My Mama"
  9. Belinda Carlisle - "Heaven Is a Place on Earth"
  10. Adele - "Chasing Pavements"
  11. Ida Corr vs. Fedde Le Grand-"Let Me Think About It"


External links[edit]