Harriet the Spy (1996)

Nickelodeon's first foray into feature filmmaking is an overlong 
kiddie drama that stars Michelle Trachtenberg as a precocious 
sixth-grader and self-proclaimed spy.  Her afternoons are spent 
sneaking around and spying on people.  She writes down everything 
she sees in a private notebook, which later falls into the hands of 
her classmates with predictably disastrous results.  The story, 
adapted from the classic children's book by Louise Fitzhugh, plays 
like a pre-teen version of WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE.  They act 
cruel, she acts crueler, and then everyone goes off to apologize 
and live happily ever after.  Unlike Dawn Weiner, the central 
character from DOLLHOUSE, Harriet also gets to exact revenge on her 
classmates.  However, this being a movie intended for kids, she 
must be taught a lesson and doesn't get to savor the pleasures of 
being mean.  Too bad she can't get back at her busy parents, who 
have long-since delegated the responsibility of raising her to a 
live-in nanny.  Now *that* could be considered cruel.  (Rated 
"PG"/101 min.)

Grade: C+

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: July 14, 1996

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