Who's in It
Emma Roberts, Tate Donovan, Josh Flitter
The Basics: Nancy Drew is back, and she's as old-fashioned as ever dressing demurely (even nerdishly), behaving in a polite and smart and poised manner, as not Paris Hilton as possible while solving a murder and mentally calculating ancillary revenue flow from tie-in merch. That's the modern part.
What's the Deal? Every so often, Hollywood decides worldliness isn't cute anymore and that moms aren't going to immediately go buy that Lindsay Lohan DVD for their little girls. They need fresh, un-ruined faces that, yes, eventually they'll try to ruin but that for now are new and appealing and innocent. Enter super-appealing Roberts and bam! a star is born. And the movie's sweet, too, even kind of wonky, a slightly more grown up and headstrong Harriet the Spy. Older kids will think it's lame, of course, but younger girls will find a new heroine.
Cool Stuff That Kids Won't Get: She's so retro she actually listens to vinyl records, a practice I'm personally 100 percent in favor of. But the movie-geek thing that won't even register with them is Laura Harring playing the murdered movie star in what I'm assuming is a nod to her doomed-actress role in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive. OK, so maybe some grown-ups won't get that, either.
Personal Favorite Moment: While being car-chased by bad guys, Nancy won't exceed the speed limit.
Fake Trend Whipped Up for PR Purposes: Funny Los Angeles Times story about how the new thing is "good girls," because if you're not squeaky clean in all ways, then you're some kind of hooker or something.