April 3rd, 2010 by Kidsmomo
A while back, we reported the news that the Disney Channel would be making a movie based on the much-loved children’s book Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. What we should have said was that Disney would be taking the original story, twisting it all around like the world’s craziest pretzel, and stomping all over it with steel-toed boots — and then sweeping up the mess, throwing it out onto the street, and running it over with a monster truck. Yes, it was that bad.
Yeah, we know the trailer looks fun. And if you really want to, you can catch the movie when it reruns on the Disney Channel tomorrow night (April 4th) or Monday afternoon (April 5th). Watch it if you must. But you’ve been warned! And we’ve got plenty of proof — in the spirit of Harriet and her notebook, we documented our observations of the movie in real-time over IM.
Things seemed promising at the start as the setting and characters were introduced:
Karen: Okay, it’s starting!
Nancy: OK, I see the titles
Nancy: the city?
Karen: The title!
Nancy: HARRIET THE SPY BLOG WARS!
Karen: I like how this really looks like NYC.
Karen: Hey, it’s the girl from Degrassi!
Karen: Hey, it’s another girl from Degrassi!
Nancy: “Sport” looks like JTT to me
Nancy: that’s former teen heartthrob Jonathon Taylor Thomas for all you non-old people out there
Karen: Since I’m an old person, I knew exactly who you meant. But I didn’t respond because I disagree.
Unfortunately, things quickly went downhill when the main premise of the film was set in motion — and Harriet was acting all uppity, signing her random blog posts with, “Just a little observation about life from me, Harriet M. Welsh” (snob!):
Nancy: this blog premise is ridiculous
Karen: Also, why would Harriet write about topics other than school as the “class blogger”? That makes no sense!
Karen: And also, I hate this Harriet. She’s a brat.
Karen: Although you know what, she’s kind of a brat in the book too.
Nancy: I never liked Harriet on principle because she was so nosy
Nancy: same with the Scooby Doo Gang
Nancy: i used to keep a notebook of my classmates also
Nancy: i am not particularly proud of myself
Karen: Ha ha.
Karen: Why is Harriet confused that no one cares about her blog posts? It’s a SCHOOL blog.
Nancy: I agree
Karen: It’s not her own personal soapbox. Hasn’t she heard of Blogger?
Karen: There are free blog platforms out there, Harriet! That’s just another observation about life from me, Karen Wang.
Karen: Here’s another observation from me: Jennifer Stone is not a good actress.
Even worse, neither of us found the lead actor handsome enough to at least provide some eye candy:
Nancy: not cute
Nancy: looks kinda like Finn from Glee!
Karen: But I think Finn from Glee is cute!
Nancy: me too, i’m very conflicted and confused
Not to mention that the character of Skander was just as unappealing as Harriet:
Karen: Harriet, you’re an idiot.
Karen: And so is Skander, apparently.
Nancy: I change my guess. They aren’t going to fall in love.
Nancy: Despite being perfectly idiotic for each other
Karen: They’d have the dumbest children ever.
So unfortunately, we were left watching two unlikeable characters making total fools of themselves through the whole movie — particularly Harriet’s ill-fated attempts at sleuthing:
Nancy: That dive behind the couch was not necessary
Karen: Is any of this necessary?
Nancy: Was this movie necessary?
Karen: Uh oh!
Nancy: uh oh!
Karen: She really is a terrible spy.
Karen: She always gets caught.
To be fair, there were a few funny parts, mainly involving Harriet’s dad discovering her exploits:
Karen: Uh oh!
Karen: Ha ha
And we both enjoyed the scenes involving the filming of Skander’s movie musical, Spy Teen 2:
Karen: What? Harriet hasn’t even seen the first movie, yet she badmouths it so confidently?
Nancy: That’s what I’m saying. Her hatred is unfounded
Karen: But our hatred for her is very founded.
Nancy: I would totally watch Spy Teen
Karen: Me too! Obvi.
Nancy: They should have made that movie instead
But were those good moments enough to save the whole movie? NO! And the relationship between Harriet and Golly — which is one of the best parts of the book — was reduced to a strange subplot. We don’t want to give it away, but you can see that we were quite surprised, and not in a good way:
Karen: I guess this Ole Golly isn’t old enough to be considered “Ole.”
Karen: But Harriet is too old to have a nanny!
Nancy: i agree
Nancy: I get it now. Harriet has a nanny still because she’s a BIG BABY
Karen: OMG, what’s going on with Golly?!
Nancy: i think it’s obvious
Nancy: DUH HARRIET
Nancy: oh, wait, no?
Karen: There’s got to be a twist.
Karen: There it is.
On the other hand, the ending was totally predictable. Again, we won’t spoil it for you, but you can see from our convo that we DID NOT enjoy it:
Nancy: let me guess, everything will conveniently work out!
Karen: THIS IS SO STUPID!
Karen: THIS IS DUMB
Nancy: what is the point of this
Nancy: i mean, i know what the point of it is
Nancy: but it’s stupid
And that was that. Basically, the three highlights of our movie-watching experience were…
1) the hilarity of trying to get our recordings to play at the same time:
Karen: Fast forward?
Nancy: no, i’m sorry, i had to hit play and watch Sterling Knight sing a little
Karen: Nancy! Focus!
Nancy: ready now
Karen: Okay. Ready, set…
Karen: Ha ha
2) learning a new word
Karen: Did she call Skander a “fink”?
Nancy: the finkiest
Karen: Golly said “fink” too!
Karen: Is that a word these days?
Karen: They keep saying “fink”!
Karen: What IS that?
As Harriet’s dad ate potato chips…
Nancy: yum, potato chips
Karen: Darn it, now I want potato chips.
Karen: I want those potato chips!
During the food fight scene…
Nancy: FOOD FIGHT!
Karen: Every Disney movie’s gotta have a food fight.
Nancy: Shouldn’t that food be scalding hot?!
Nancy: not the potato salad, though
Karen: Stop wasting all that food, people!
Karen: I’m hungry!
Even food offscreen…
Nancy: this is so bad i’m going to order food to temper my pain
Nancy: quesadilla or tacos?
Karen: Ooh, that’s a tough one.
Karen: Quesadilla has melty cheese, which is always delicious.
Karen: What did Harriet just say?
Karen: I couldn’t hear over my crunching as I eat mixed nuts.
Nancy: sorry i missed it i went to get my door. my food is here
Nancy: i was right. the food makes the movie infinitely better
Nancy: i hate this movie
Nancy: why did you make me watch this
Karen: I’m sorry this is so awful.
Nancy: i accept your apology, but only because i just shoveled a taco down my gullet
Karen: What kind of taco?
So all in all, obviously we gave Harriet the Spy: Blog Wars two HUGE frowny faces. But what about you? If you saw the movie, leave a comment with your review!