Moore lets us see, through her quietly shining performance, that Gloria believes in love, in the way an old song can make you feel a little younger, and in the power of dressing up and hitting a dance floor by yourself, moving as if in a trance, letting the music take you to a better place.
Even with that major miscue, Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase works well for its target audience. It shows that anyone can stand up to peer pressure, bullying or even a ghost if they are smart and strong enough. As for the mystery of how good the movie is, the case is closed on a positive note.
Greta is a disappointment from Jordan, who’s made far better movies (“The Crying Game,” “The End of the Affair” and, more recently, the elegant vampire film “Byzantium”), but Huppert seizes hold of the film and chills it, in a way that’s both shiver-inducing and bracing.
Take “Billy Elliot,” trade the refined world of ballet for the “soap opera in spandex” of professional wrestling, swap the preteen boy for a young woman, throw in The Rock — because every movie is better with The Rock, right? — and you’ve got Fighting With My Family, a shaggily likable underdog tale.
What we have here is mostly a straight-up, mildly raunchy rom-com, where everyone learns lessons and gets a happy ending. But Shankman gives it all an agreeable bounce, and Henson (better known for dramatic roles, in “Hidden Figures,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and TV’s “Empire”) zestfully dives into the comedy.
It’s a bunch of plastic blocks that have an adventure, and it’s basically insane; not quite as pleasantly so as the first movie (the element of astonished surprise isn’t there), but hey, that’s a high bar. Everything is … oh, damn it, there I go again.