I'm all for Nancy Drew. I’m for the homemade Butterick pattern skirts, the old timey detective methods, the obeying of the speed limit, the curiosity, the sweetness. I like Nancy Drew.
I like the option of Nancy Drew.
And after reading some reviews for Nancy Drew, the newest big screen adaptation of the 75-year-old girl Detective I thought, OK. I get it. You people like Nancy Drew too. And, yes, I see that compared to Paris, Britney and Lindsay (sorry, but they’re dragged into the equation, as always), this literary creation named Nancy Drew, this straight arrow with homespun, traditional values is good medicine for impressionable tweens.
Wait a second. Good medicine? God, don’t make me hate Nancy Drew.
Though many reviewers found the film tedious, for a few, it was just enough that our Miss Drew wasn’t presented as a cell phone addicted teen clad in skinny jeans and tiny tees. Ah, yes. Kudos to the screenwriters for not updating our Nancy in Joe Francis's image. My goodness, we could have had “Nancy Drew and the Case of the Missing Beer Bong” on our hands.
What annoys me is the slight hysteria I’m reading in these reviews that, in the worst case, have created mythological movies containing the supposed intent of turning sweet girls into future streetwalkers. Specifically, Ken Fox of TV Guide writes: "The movie's refusal to treat young girls like silly tramps-in-training is almost radical: It's just good, clean fun and actually offers children of a certain age a role model even adults can feel good about."
Aside from making Nancy Drew sound like a movie I would have hated when I was 12 (give me Jodie Foster in Freaky Friday, Diana Lynn in The Major and the Minor or Natalie Portman in The Professional any day of the week) exactly what movies aimed at girls are treating young women like "tramps-in training?" Unless I missed the part where Heidi Fleiss and Ivan Nagy crashed the slumber party in Uptown Girls, I don't remember slut boot camp in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, New York Minute or Mean Girls.
And here’s a newsflash most fathers probably don’t want to hear (apologies to dads, and so close to Father’s Day): In addition to reading Charlotte’s Web and talking about horses, little girls like so-called trampy stuff. They like tarting up their Barbie Dolls (you think it’s fun dressing Barbie in pantsuits and sensible shoes?). They also like dunking them in water, burning their hair with lighters and running over Ken with their Dream-Vettes. My sister and I played with multiple personality Barbie, demonic possession Barbie, shut in Barbie and Bea Arthur Barbie. Like other regular, multifaceted girls, our Barbies had issues.
I get that critics are dispensing parental tips, and that for a family movie targeted at girls, they find it necessary to discuss how the young ladies are portrayed. But I worry how much of people's “moral” outrage and flat out hatred for Paris Hilton (a disturbing vitriol, the internet equivalent of a bloodthirsty lynch mob) is spreading to the reviewing of films. For some, Nancy Drew is one step in a hope that girls will begin acting like decent little ladies again. Because you know, if they taste any adventure in life, if they go a little wild, they might grow up to become incarcerated hotel heiress's with a sex tape.
Please. Give girls some credit.
Now excuse me while I go watch Avenging Angel.