Last fall I was dismayed when I saw a trailer for the forthcoming Nancy Drew film. The girl seemed indistinguishable from numerous other recent tween movie and television characters — perky, great hair, and so forth. Where was the seriously cool girl detective of my memory? I mean, yes she was fashionable, but not in this lame sort of way!
But yesterday I read Polly Shulman’s New York Times article, “Spunky Nancy Drew Faces Her Hardest Case: Hollywood” and had a change of heart. I mean, as Shulman reminded me, it is not as if Nancy wasn’t altered before. My Nancy from the 60s wasn’t the original Nancy at all. For one thing the first Nancy was 16 while mine was 18. I can’t remember if mine drove a roadster or a convertible (which would indicate the particular editions I was reading), but she still had Carson, Ned, George, and Bess around her in some way. Given the fiddling that was done with all of them over the years, who am I to complain if the movies do it again?
But I have to wonder if turning her into a kooky nerd might be a bit of a stretch. This new Nancy is evidently the new girl in a Los Angeles school (quite a shift from the small town in the books I read) with a predilection for retro stuff. Well, I suppose if it all works, it doesn’t matter. After all, this movie isn’t for nostalgic me, but for kids today.