Warner Bros.’ latest movie, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase was a movie that could have hit all the right notes if it just had more depth to the characters.
Sophia Lillis, who plays Nancy Drew, did an excellent job portraying the teenage super-sleuth. The actress was one of the best parts of this movie all about the young Nancy Drew who arrives in a small town after living in Chicago and longs for some adventure to liven up her days. Nancy Drew steps right in and begins to use her sleuthing skills to help stop a bully and find out more about the haunting of Twin Elms. And there are so many clues that lead her to believe that there is a connection between the two.
And that is where the movie steps away from being just right. Too many of the young girls in her sphere, her friends and the mean girl who she works with, are all boxed into stereotypical characters. Even my eldest son picked up on that. He also picked up on how much bullying and anti-bullying (as in bullying the bully) was going on in this movie without too much say about why it was wrong. In some instances, it was almost implied that it was wrong even if it was something that the person deserved. I’m sorry but no one, even bullies deserve to be bullied. And that was something I was disappointed in the most as a parent about this film.
My kids and I have never read any Nancy Drew novels, yes, even in my lifetime, I never picked one up, and with this movie, it is almost assumed that you should already have some background on the characters because there was no roundness about them. The only one who had any depth at all was Nancy Drew and even with her, she could have had more background.
Two of my boys weren’t all that excited about this movie, mostly because they thought it was a bit girly. They did change their mind as we watched. My youngest wasn’t all that thrilled with it still by the end, even if he did like the Home Alone-esque scene toward the end of the movie. He ended up giving the movie a 3 out of 5 stars. My eldest, who as I mentioned earlier, did not really enjoy the characters or the bullying. He gave the movie a 3.5 but said if the characters were more like how he expected them to be on a daily basis he would have enjoyed it more. He has a real fascination with the Nickelodeon show “Victorious”, so he referenced that as to how the girls could have more acted like to be more credible. My middle son, who was the one most interested in the movie since the beginning of seeing all the previews, actually enjoyed the movie. He gave the movie 4 out of 5 stars, even if he thought it was a little girly. There was just enough action to keep him interested, but he was disappointed that Deputy Patrick (Andrew Matthew Welch), who was the only male who was part of the group that Nancy Drew kept around her, was almost pushed aside to make Nancy look that much better. Yes, we all need to give our girls girl-empowerment, especially in this day and age, but why can’t we have boys and girls be equals any more? Why does it have to be one or the other? Overall, I give the movie 3.5 stars out of 5. The character development and bullying were just some obstacles that I could not quite overcome.
This movie opened up March 15th to all major theaters. Are you planning to take your kids to it? Have you been excited to find another release of a Nancy Drew movie? Tell me this what you thought of the movie below.