What can I say about the new Nancy Drew movie? I really did want to go see it with my friends (in fact, it was MY idea that we go), but about an hour before it was time to go, I suddenly wondered if this was such a great idea after all. I KNEW Nancy was going to be all wrong in that movie, so why in the world did I want to go see it?
It sure isn’t a very popular movie. When we walked into the theater ten minutes before the movie was supposed to start, we thought we were getting a private screening! But then right before it started another group (women who were quite a bit older than we were!) came in. It was just us, though.
I am glad I saw it, but….Nancy was all wrong! WAY wrong! I was expecting a “modern Nancy Drew”…like Veronica Mars. This Nancy was too young, too perky, too 1950s and 1970s both at the same time. It was like they took a teenager from the 1950s, dressed her in clothes from the 70s and then plopped her in L.A. in modern times with modern teenagers. Bess and George looked right (they looked better than the Bess and George from the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys TV show that I watched religiously every Sunday night in the 1970s), but they were hardly in the movie at all. Ned was way wrong, too. In fact, he was just plain irritating.
So what DID I like about it? Well…every cliche’ from the series made it into the movie (and yes, I liked that). There was a secret passage, Nancy was kidnapped, she was chloroformed, she was knocked unconscious…at first all this stuff just made me cringe. It all seemed so out of place in the modern world. But then I sort of got into it, and I remembered this was what the books were like…and it made me think they were actually SPOOFING the original Nancy Drew because they KNEW they couldn’t do a modern Nancy Drew any other way?
How in the world do you modernize Nancy Drew anyway? SHOULD Nancy Drew be modernized? (I guess she has been in a sense…I understand the newer books are quite a bit different from the originals.)
Actually, Nancy Drew came up yesterday in my teen writers’ workshop. Yesterday was “character day,” so I asked the kids to name some good characters. Nancy was mentioned. I was curious whether today’s kids enjoy Nancy Drew as much as I did. Can they relate to her at all? The homeschooled girl certainly could. And the girl who brought Nancy up in the first place could. A third girl had seen the movie from the 1930s (I had forgotten about that…I think there were several Nancy Drew movies from the 30s), but she’d never actually read any of the books. And nobody else admitted to having actually read any of them, either.
I don’t know…some things just shouldn’t be modernized. If you’re looking for a modern day Nancy Drew, try Sammy Keyes…or Veronica Mars…