Release Date: June 15th, 2007 by Warner Bros. Pictures.
The Cast: Emma Roberts, Josh Flitter, Max Thieriot, Rachael Leigh Cook, Tate Donovan, Barry Bostwick, Amy Bruckner, Laura Harring, Caroline Aaron.
Directed by Andrew Fleming.
BASIC PREMISE: While accompanying her gather (Donavan) on a business trip in Los Angeles, Nancy Drew (Roberts) investigates the unsolved murder of Dehlia Draycott (Harring), a movie star who was killed back in the 80’s. Based on the books by Mildred Wirt Benson.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Nancy Drew has some corny scenes, but at least it moves along at a fast pace with lively characters and witty dialogue. Emma Roberts plays the title character whose wardrobe looks like she just stepped out of a time warp from the 60’s. She leaves her potential boyfriend (Thieriot) to tag along on a business trip to Los Angeles with her father. Despite his wishing that she stop sleuthing, she purposefully chooses to live in a house haunted by ghosts which have something to do with the unsolved murder case of Dehlia Draycott. The mystery itself feels more fun and suspenseful than expected, especially when she tries to find out the identity of someone with the initial “Z”. In her new school, she meets a young boy named Corky (Flitter), who becomes her quirky sidekick during her adventures in sleuthing. Bruce Willis and Adam Goldberg have hilarious cameos and Caroline Aaron adds some offbeat humor as a real estate agent called Barbara Barbara. Rachael Leigh Cook plays a single mother who tries to get custody of her son in a rather convoluted, unnecessary subplot. Co-writer/director Andrew Fleming does a great job of combining the genres of mystery, adventure and comedy with ease, but only when it comes to romance does he falter with some corny scenes that will make you roll your eyes. None of the surprises in the adventures will be ruined here, but it’s worth noting that there’s plenty of homage to classic movies such as Chinatown and Mulholland Dr.. Fortunately, Emma Roberts gives a charming performance which makes her character appealing enough so that fans of the book will look forward to seeing more Nancy Drew mysteries.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: A surprisingly witty, charming and suspenseful mystery/adventure with occasional corniness.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater
The "N" Menu