Back in June, I posted that Thor Freudenthal, an effects guy from Stuart Little, was going to tackle Lois Duncan's children's book, Hotel for Dogs for his feature directorial debut. Unlike Duncan's young adult thriller novels, Hotel is about two teen orphans who hide stray dogs in an abandoned hotel. Now Reuters is reporting that Emma Roberts, the next in the line of Roberts successes, is going to star. Unlike her family, who got their start with more adult fare, the young Emma is definitely taking the bubble-gum kids route.

I'm torn. I loved that she took on Nancy Drew, but she's really racking up the kid fare -- Unfabulous, Aquamarine, Wild Child... That's not bad on its own, but young acting lives filled with big smiles and perfect skin seem to often end in a mess -- and the last thing I want is for Emma to become the next in the line of celebrity crashes. The eerie correlation between smiling on the outside and dysfunction on the inside goes back for years. Well before Britney was shaving her head and Lindsay was driving drunk, there were seemingly perky stars like Patty Duke and Judy Garland struggling with drugs and personal demons.

I know not every kid falls onto that path, but it's hard not to fear it when you see someone going down a road riddled with young celebrity roadkill. (And seeing that my last favorite teen star was Lohan, I'm trying not to curse the poor girl.) Sometimes I wonder: if we showed the world lots of realistic, pissed off, negative teens, as opposed to what we usually get, would they grow up differently? At the very least, they'd have a real, true outlet for their adolescence and angst.