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Retro rocket

Nancy Drew lifts off on screen
By JEFFREY GANTZ  |  June 13, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars

Fleming has pitched his film to a tween audience: Nancy acts closer to 13 or 14, Ned is almost as baby-faced as Corky, Carson looks thirtysomething and recalls ’50s TV sit-com dads. Certainly there’s plenty of room for sequels. All arms and legs and her aunt’s smile, a younger version of Reese Witherspoon’s Elle Woods, Roberts is the Energizer Bunny that drives Nancy Drew; the other cast members (including an uncredited Bruce Willis) are warm-blooded caricatures, deadpan but not dead weight. This is a Hollywood movie that sends up bad Hollywood moviemaking, an ode to conservatism that excoriates conservative hypocrisy. And, like any good mystery, it challenges you to look closer. When Nancy sits down with her iBook and scrolls through Dehlia Draycott’s filmography on the Internet Movie Database, we get a glimpse of some early titles: The Bungalow Mystery, The Mystery at Lilac Inn. Actual films? No, they’re Nancy Drew books. Just a fleeting half-smile in a movie that’s far from clueless.

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