Nancy Drew (2007)
Some 75+ years later, teenage sleuth Nancy Drew has been a longstanding character of childhood nostalgia. With a series of films made in the forties, a TV show in the seventies and even a Disney television film (2002), these classic stories are still a great bet. Bookshelves at bookstores continue to stock this sleuth's stories not to mention, Nancy Drew is still one of the most popular small town girls around.
Mysteries seem to follow Nancy Drew (Emma Roberts) wherever she goes. No matter how hard she tries, she just can’t be a “normal” teenager – and she loves it. After River Heights recent string of burglaries, who better to crack the case than Nancy Drew? It’s this that she’s working on when she becomes a hostage, and then promptly finagles her way out of that sticky situation. Unfortunately for Nancy, it’s also this that is the last straw for her father. Carson Drew (Tate Donovan) tells her in no uncertain terms that while they are on his extended business trip (in Hollywood), there will be no sleuthing!
She’s told she must engage in “normal” pursuits. But Nancy finds her fathers’ new rule a little hard to cope with especially after choosing a house to rent that comes with a mystery just begging to be solved. But somehow Nancy is determined to follow along with her father’s wishes. Or at least she was until she arrives at the home they’re renting, which is the home of former film star Dehlia Draycott. Once there, Nancy, along with her tagalong Corky (Josh Flitter), finds herself pulled into a mystery begging to be solved
Back when this first appeared in theaters, I’d read about it quite a lot. It looked darn cute, so I can remember going to see it in theaters and finding it to be just that. I didn’t have an image of Nancy ingrained in my mind but was familiar with her after buying dozens of books for many Christmas and birthday gifts. All this to say, I don’t know how this translates to compliment the books, but as a contemporized script involving the beloved sleuth, it’s charming. The mysterious happenings are crafted well, and never feel underwhelming (for this story) or on the other end of the spectrum, as if they're “too much.” Basically, there’s no boredom in this delightful story.
Shifting to the cast, Emma Roberts was perfection. Her prim and proper 50’s style clothing was lovely and a nice vintage throwback to the books (as was the opening title sequence). Josh Flitter is a hilarious addiction, and almost made up for Bess and George missing throughout most of the script, and then there is Max Thieriot as Nancy’s well-known love, Ned Nickerson. Sadly, he too is missing from the story far too much, but when he is present, he’s a fun character. Donovan and Rachael Leigh Cook are all memorable in the supporting roles.
As the mystery furthers, Nancy uncovers secret after secret all of which lead her to a woman who is a beneficiary of an unexpected inheritance. Inspired by the values her father has instilled in her, Nancy does what she feels is right. Recently I re-watched this one (after years of having not seen it) and still find it a fun, cute and intriguing ways to spend an evening. Though it never came, as this rounds to its close, the story did promise another mystery to solve along with the return of Nancy Drew and friends. Since this mystery is solved by the end of the story, the only puzzle at the conclusion of this is: what predicament would Nancy have gotten herself into next?
CONTENT: a car attempts to run two kids over they escape without harm. Nancy is kidnapped a couple of times. I heard one use of h*ll. There are a couple innocent kisses. A boy remarks that he thinks his sister may “actually be the devil.” The movie is rated PG.