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Wednesday, June 13, 2007 01:05 am

Not-so-new Drew

Film pays tribute to popular teen detective series

Nancy Drew Rated PG Running time 1:32 Parkway Pointe, ShowPlace East
Untitled Document Back in May, when I was looking over the many lists of films for the coming summer movie season, Nancy Drew did not make my must-see list. However, after watching some of the trailers I realized that this was not my grandmother’s teen sleuth but instead a postmodern take on the seminal mystery character penned under the pseudonym “Carolyn Keene” by a variety of writers. Director Andrew Fleming, who co-authored the script with first-timer Tiffany Paulsen, does his best to pay homage to Nancy’s roots while updating her for the 21st century, and the results, for the most part, are entertaining. Unfortunately, the mystery at the center of the movie is as hoary as the take on the detective is entertaining.
Transplanted from her hometown of River Heights to Hollywood by her father (Tate Donovan), Nancy Drew (Emma Roberts) does her best to hold to her promise not to go sleuthing, but you just know from the get-go that this is a pledge that was made to be broken. Sure enough, Nancy catches wind of an unsolved crime right under her nose. Compounding this small-town girl’s problems is the fact she’s having a hard time fitting in at school. Penny loafers and plaid skirts just don’t cut it in Hollywood. Although it is commendable that Fleming and Paulsen would include many of the elements that Keene turned into mystery conventions, the haunted mansions and secret passages come off as lazy rather than as homage. It would have been much more fun seeing Nancy trying to deal with not only the troubles of a modern school but an updated mystery as well.
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