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Saturday June 23, 2007 2:58 pm

It’s No Mystery: Nancy Drew is a Hit

Nancy Drew movie posterNancy Drew is perhaps best known by women, most associated with yellow books, and loved for her girl-detective approach to life. There is always some concern when a movie is adapted from a popular book series – will they get the character right, will they make it modern enough for even today’s girls to connect, will they give us a juicy Drew-type mystery? The reviews are in, and the Nancy Drew movie hits every single mark. Played by Emma Roberts (daughter of Eric and niece to Julia), Nancy Drew jumps off the page and becomes a heroine that even today’s ultra-modern, high-tech teens can adore.

There is enough standard Nancy to keep purists happy, but enough modernization to keep this flick from being a flop. In Nancy Drew’s first big screen appearance since the 1930s, Nancy, father Carson, and housekeeper Hannah move from River Heights (a city that, anyone who has read the books knows, has been Nancy’s stomping ground for decades) for sunny L.A. In her new school, Nancy is initially shunned by her peers. Does she change who she is to better fit in? Not Nancy Drew – she stays the same, and in the end wins more than a few fans over to her side and her way of thinking.

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In this modern-day Drew mystery, Nancy is assigned the task of finding real estate for her family of three and chooses a dilapidated and mysterious mansion owned by (fictional) movie star Dehlia Draycott. It just so happens that Dehlia died under strange circumstances in a case that’s never been solved. In other words, it’s just the perfect house for a detective of Drew’s skills.

There is some confusion about what decade Drew thinks she lives in, as if she was plucked from an era gone by and randomly thrown into today’s techie times, but somehow Roberts makes it work. The film gives a nod to the Drew character that so many adored in hardcover and paperback, while staying fresh enough to interest a whole new round of teens. Looking for a teen movie that says “I am who I am, and I’m happy?” instead of “I am who I am – who do you want me to be?” Nancy Drew is the flick for you, and it’s perfect that she’s making an appearance again. After all, movies are the new books.

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