Nancy Drew (2007)

Genres - Mystery, Children's/Family  |   Sub-Genres - Detective Film  |   Release Date - Jun 15, 2007 (USA)  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Craig Butler

Nancy Drew is an engaging little mystery flick that will please many, in both its young target audience and in older adults as well. It would also probably please even more people if it had a different title and its heroine had a different name. Despite its charms, some viewers will have an issue with the "fish out of water" approach that the film takes, which makes fun of the basic simplicity of Nancy. It's gentle and warmhearted fun, and in the end the film comes down firmly on Nancy's side, but it adds an ironic layer and a distancing effect that may very well displease some of the ardent fans of the character as established in the book -- an effect that wouldn't occur if it were a created-just-for-the screen character without decades of published history behind her. Still, most viewers will overlook this flaw, as well as the fact that the mystery is not quite as front-and-center as it might be. That's because director/writer Andrew Fleming and his co-writer Tiffany Paulsen have created an appealing screenplay that spotlights effervescent star Emma Roberts beautifully. Roberts is the heart of Nancy Drew, and she has the kind of warmth and joyousness that is utterly captivating. She's not all bubbles and light, of course, and handles the dramatic aspects of the part with a sure hand. Above all, she strikes the absolutely perfect tone for this particular picture, believing at all times in her character and never letting parody rear its ugly head. The very able supporting cast is also an asset, as are Jeffrey Kurland's spot-on costumes.