The old-fashioned girl detective is out of place at Hollywood High.
The first Nancy Drew feature film since the 1930s is 'œmore nice than good, but nice isn't the worst trait,' said Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. Nancy'”as played by Julia Roberts' niece, Emma Roberts'”is an old-fashioned teen with prim fashion tastes and a Type A personality. When Nancy's dad (Tate Donovan) gets a new job, the two are uprooted from their wholesome hometown and replanted in Los Angeles. Though Nancy faces constant criticism from her hip classmates, she's more interested in solving the murder of the 1970s movie star who haunts her rented mansion. She's meant to be an eccentric, said Jan Stuart in Newsday. But Roberts' Nancy is a regular smart kid, obviously gorgeous, and certainly less socially inept than your average 16-year-old. So it just doesn't make sense that her peers thinks she's weird. 'œCasting agents, we beg of you, are there no budding Jodie Fosters in the entirety of America's high school drama clubs?' This film is boring, playing out just as you'd expect, said Bruce Bennett in The New York Sun. But for all its flaws, 'œNancy Drew has some things to say that are worth hearing.' Director Andrew Fleming sends the message that critical thinking and curiosity about the world are far more valuable traits in a young girl than her taste in designer handbags.