Happy Sleuthing today, Precious Readers!
As most of you know, I am a Nancy Drew fan, and if you haven’t heard, there is a new movie in the theaters (right now!) with a modern twist to the character.
While I was concerned that in a seemingly whole world of sequels and reboots in Hollywood at the moment this one would be another disappointment, I was pleasantly surprised. While not going to win any awards, I found this to be a more authentic modernization of the Nancy Drew character. She still had global appeal, there was more diversity in the film (though the only Asian was in the move for 5 seconds at the beginning of the movie), and actually had some gasping jump-scare moments.
Part of the reason I think I enjoyed the film was because I went in with ZERO to LOW expectations. This was not 1930’s Nancy. It’s about a girl with exceptional reasoning and deduction skills, sassiness towards authority, and with the help of her friends try to figure out strange happenings in the small mid-western town of River Heights.
With that criteria, I believe they succeeded, including a positive message towards female empowerment and fighting the “mean girl” stereotypes. It also doesn’t hurt that it was produced by Ellen DeGeneres. (Whatever your opinion, I love Ellen.) I was deeply disappointed in the lackluster advertising for the film. The movie itself only played in 1 local theater and had a tepid launch. I firmly believe that if Ellen and other producers had put in more money for the advertising, it would have reached a wider audience. There were a few scattered attendees at the theater and while the film wasn’t great, it wasn’t bad.
You may recall a film back in 2007 starring Emma Roberts, but I have to admit I was sorely disappointed in that version. They made it like Nancy Drew was an old fashioned “freak of nature” trying to make life work in Hollywood, California. She was even considered absurdly old fashioned in her hometown of River Heights. I figure, if you’re going to have a person with 1930’s mannerisms, have them exist in a 1930’s world. This did not prevent me from adding the movie to my DVD collection, but I will be far prouder to have the 2019 Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase featured alongside it on my DVD shelf.
If you decide to watch the movie, take the little ones in your life, grab some snacks, and sit back to watch a pleasant family film.
I give it a solid C, but hopefully look forward to more being made. Maybe if a wider audience purchased more tickets to see it in the theater, it will encourage another.
This blog post is of my sole opinion. I have not been compensated in any way to review this movie.