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Toon Talk - From the Other Side: Nancy Drew
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by Rebekah Moseley (archives)
June 18, 2007
Kirby reviews the live-action Warner Bros. family release Nancy Drew.
Toon Talk: From the Other Side
by Kirby C. Holt

(c) Warner Bros

Nancy Drew

Warner Bros. Pictures
MPAA Rating: PG

Sleuth or Dare

Created by publisher Edward Stratemeyer and author Mildred A. Wirt Benson (under the pseudonym “Carolyn Keene?) in 1930, girl detective Nancy Drew has been solving mysteries and entertaining her loyal readers for generations. However, all that literary success has rarely carried over to other mediums.

Although Bonita Granville starred in a series of four movies (recently released on DVD) in the late 1930’s, most people remember Pamela Sue Martin’s take on the iconic role in the 1977 to 1979 television series The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries. Other attempts have been made to bring the super sleuth to life through the years, but none have come close to matching the perennial popularity of the books, which have been in constant print ever since they began over eighty years ago. Warner Bros. (which produced the Granville series) takes another crack at it with the recently released, simply titled Nancy Drew (now in theaters), a bland update of the franchise that will likely join the other attempts in faint obscurity.

(c) Warner Bros

Taking a page from the recent reboot of another book-based crime-fighter, James Bond, this Nancy Drew is set in the present day where our heroine (played by Emma Roberts) is just as resourceful and wholesome as ever, yet she now uses laptops and cel phones to help in her sleuthing. Attired in smart sweater sets and penny loafers, Nancy is a bit thrown when her lawyer dad (Hercules himself, Tate Donovan) temporarily moves them from their quaint small town to the fast lane of L.A. while he works on the proverbial “big case?. “Old fashioned? Nancy of course goes against the grain at her new school, the type of school where every student looks like a reject from the Pussycat Dolls; in other words, just your typical Los Angeles high school … as seen in every movie since Clueless.

No matter, for straight-and-narrow Nancy is far from clueless herself, having a big juicy Hollywood murder mystery to solve in her own house, a run-down mansion right out of Sunset Boulevard. Creaking footsteps in the attic and ghostly projections abound, so our Miss Drew is in mystery-solving heaven, even if she did promise her dad that she would give up the Sherlock Holmes routine for the duration of their California adventure.

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