Jennifer Stone did a great job with "Harriet the Spy". It's nice to see her holding her own as a star, after her great supporting role as Harper in "Wizards". However, Jennifer could not keep this vehicle above water. I did not read the "Harriet the Spy" books as a child. In this TV movie, the character Harriet makes a royal mess of the life of an unstable young movie star, by a sequence of betraying her father's trust and goodwill, and prying into his professional paperwork. Really not the ideal Disney heroine. Yes, after tragedy ensues, Harriet is truly sorry and makes a public apology. But as with most Disney vehicles, there is usually a personal cost accounting for these kinds of transgressions. Harriet really does nothing to pay for what she has done, lucks out in a weak turn of events at the final moments of the film, and gets away scott free. The transgression of inventing a personal relationship with the movie star in order to sensationalize her blog goes completely unpunished. There was really zero sense that Harriet had learned any kind of life lesson. That "warm fuzzy" is usually so prevalent in other better written Disney vehicles. So what's the morale of the story, kids? Behave however you want, maybe things will pan out just fine. Don't sweat the consequences. Plot issues; most of the other characters are hackneyed. The heartthrob move star is far to into the shallow primadonna caste. The mother barely makes a presence. The nanny separates herself from Harriet's life without any believable amount of forethought, and then reappears at the end of the film, standing next to the family smiling as if nothing had happened ... without any explanation. Harriet's handling of the cook, her lack of respect for her father's work, and the manipulation of her (admittedly shallow) mother, convey her as a rather rotten, spoiled rich child. If it weren't for some transference from Jennifer Stone's Harper, it was somewhat difficult to like her. If anything, her absence of family life made her somewhat pitiable. I hope Disney finds something really redeeming for this charming and likable young actress.
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