Despite the popularity of her long-running book series, Nancy Drew has gotten very little screen time. She's been in video games, TV movies (as recently as 2002), and even had a series: 1977's The Nancy Drew Mysteries on ABC. But she hasn't sleuthed on the big screen since the 1930s.
However, fans waiting for a uniquely Nancy Drew film may still be waiting. This film's Nancy is a generic teen girl sleuth who happens to be called "Nancy Drew." Sure, there are nice Nancy Drew touches—she's got her flashlight, the blue roadster from her early books, a housekeeper named Hannah Gruen, and a home address in River Heights—but those details can almost feel like they're written into some Nickelodeon-like teen detective script. In fact, with new character names, this just as easily could have been called Veronica Mars: The Early Years.
But there are also some very-Nancy elements. For instance, she's always more than happy to impart random information to those around her (like police code, medical procedures, etc.). She also shows enthusiastic interest in various hobbies like art and music, a trait that leads to a laugh-out-loud bit with her painting.
Really, it's two main factors that make Nancy feel like she's here in name-only. First, she's modernized. The film puts her in the present (to be more accessible to kids of course) but makes her some sort of 1950s-holdout. This often-uneven tone is very much like a cross between the tongue-in-cheek parody of The Brady Bunch Movie and the live cartoon that was Scooby-Doo. Second, Nancy's removed from her natural setting—as many of the later books also did. However, outside of River Heights, the film's character becomes another teen who wants to solve mysteries.
Nancy leaves ...1
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