Annie is a young girl from a working-class neighborhood who suddenly finds herself working as a nanny for wealthy family in Manhattan?s Upper East Side. Between catering to the every whim of her employers and their precoc... more »ious son and falling in love with their gorgeous neighbor, Annie tries to figure out what she wants to do with her life.« less
Laurie I. from CHARLOTTE, NC Reviewed on 1/15/2012...
Sweet movie about a young woman's struggle to pursue her goals while trying to win the approval of her mother. Scarlett Johansson is the nannie for a young boy whose mother is preoccupied and whose father is a philanderer. Neither has much time to be bothered with their son. The job starts out as one of necessity, however, as a bond is formed between herself and the boy it turns out much different than she expected. This is a cute, likeable movie but I don't know if it's necessarily a keeper.
Tricia H. (GataGirl) from MORGANZA, LA Reviewed on 1/17/2009...
It was a very cute movie. It has a way of helping you put your life into prospective and wanting to make every attempt at making your child/childern top priority even if you don't have a employ a nanny(or use the electronic versions of the nanny....t.v., video games, etc).
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Not half as good as it wants you to think it is
Terry Mesnard | Bellevue, NE | 09/10/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Nanny Diaries fits into the same category as The Devil Wears Prada. Both feature women who take a plunge into a society that's not prepared for them and, more importantly, they aren't prepared for. In the Devil Wears Prada, the target is fashion. Here, the target is more broad: upper class Manhattanites with no time for their families.
The movie owes even more to The Devil Wears Prada (including a brief snippet that features the main character reading the novel in a wink-wink, nudge-nudge homage) and contains, unfortunately, none of the spark and cutting edge that the former had. Here we have the always beautiful Scarlett Johansson as an Anthropology student named Annie who is uncertain about her future and what she wants to be in the real world. Instead of facing the future, she stumbles upon Mrs. X (played with icy chill by Laura Linney) who mistakes her name Annie as "nanny" and immediately the park seems crowded with Manhattanites who want her services.
Long story short, she gets the job and, like a certain fashionista, discovers she bit off more than she can chew. Along the route, she meets the "Harvard Hottie" (Chris Evans) and the lecherous and incredibly creepy Mr. X (played by Paul Giamatti in a role very unlike his others) and learns about love, life and the importance of "following your dreams"(tm).
While the story is humorous in parts and I really enjoyed the framing as an anthropology experiment where it's Annie looking from the outside in and learning about this absolutely foreign culture, it suffers from pacing problems. The beginning was amusing and fun and so was the ending. How they got there, though, was not worth the time. Director Shari Springer Berman worked magic in her adaptation of American Splendor (also featuring Paul Giamatti), but none of that spark is found here.
I will say it has a great cast. Paul Giamatti is terrific as is Laura Linney, who I've always enjoyed. Even Chris Evans who has come a long way from his roots in Not Another Teen Movie is enjoyable. This strong cast led by the always pretty Scarlett Johansson really helps the movie and carry the film. Unfortunately, their parts don't truly resonate the way they should. I think this is what separates this movie from The Devil Wears Prada. Whereas the characters in Prada felt real and carried a spark, here they merely feel like caricatures.
There's some really cute and good scenes, but overall it's too little too late, especially when faced with the tremendously better The Devil Wears Prada of last year. I'd recommend waiting for a renter.
Cute, for what it is."
Superficial Life Lessons Eked Out of a Trivial Urban Fairy T
Ed Uyeshima | San Francisco, CA USA | 01/06/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It's disheartening to see such a sparkling cast put through the motions of a tiresome mainstream trifle like this 2007 adaptation of the lightweight bestseller of the same name by one-time nannies Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. Directed and written by the husband-wife team of Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (who previously partnered on the smart and quirky American Splendor about underground comic book writer Harvey Pekar), this movie would seem ripe for a sharp satire about the privileged class on the Upper East Side. However, the trite life-lessons orientation of this modern-day fairy tale escapes their idiosyncratic grasp, and the result is a superficial slog with a particularly narcissistic perspective.
The story centers on New Jersey-bred Annie Braddock, freshly graduated with honors from NYU, who realizes during a corporate interview that she doesn't know what she wants to do with her life. As an anthropology major, she sees life as a series of Museum of Natural History dioramas (a particularly contrived device used repeatedly in the film). By happenstance in Central Park, she is recruited to become a nanny for the unfortunately named Grayer, the towheaded son of a glamorous, designer-clothed society matron referred to as Mrs. X. The trappings are luxurious at Mrs. X's apartment, but things go sour almost immediately when Mrs. X's demands on Annie become excessive. It turns out that the Mrs. X is in a bad marriage which has left the Mrs. desperate for her workaholic husband's attentions while ignoring her son. As this personal drama unfolds, Grayer becomes attached to Annie, and she responds in kind, which of course, can only lead to complications.
As much as I like Scarlett Johansson, she is not a natural at this type of character-driven comedy (unless you count the skits she does on Saturday Night Live where she plays Lexie, the glammed-up Jersey girl pointing repeatedly to chandeliers and marble columns). She just isn't that credible as a dowdy, naïve post-graduate perhaps because she has already been seen in past films as a savvy and often world-weary bombshell. Her physical antics here seem especially strained and her tirades rather forced. It's not a bad performance as much as it is a misuse of her talent. Faring somewhat better is the always reliable Laura Linney, who gets to look gorgeous for a change and then uncover a wickedly vituperative woman rattled by her deep-seeded insecurity. The relationship between the two characters will likely remind you of The Devil Wears Prada, a much better adaptation of a lightweight roman-a-clef, although Mrs. X is not as complex or intimidating a character as fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly.
Relegated to the sidelines is Paul Giamatti properly villainous as Mr. X, an adulterous, insensitive lout of a husband and father. Chris Evans colorlessly plays Harvard Hottie, Annie's preppy, kind-hearted suitor upstairs, while Nicholas Art simply doesn't register any real warmth as Grayer. Broadway great Donna Murphy shows up effectively as Annie's working-nurse mother, Julie White has a few funny moments as an unctuous training seminar leader, and pop singer Alicia Keys plays the requisite best pal role with bohemian spunk. The story's resolution feels particularly pat. The 2007 DVD has a few extras - no commentary track but a standard making-of featurette about 17 minutes long. The second short, "Confessions from the Original Nannies: The Authors of the Bestselling Book", is marginally more interesting as the book's co-authors Kraus and McLaughlin discuss their own experiences as nannies and the book-to-movie transformation. Lastly, there is an amazingly dull blooper reel plus the original theatrical trailer."
Better than three stars
Bradley F. Smith | Miami Beach, FL | 08/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I never read the book, so I saw this fresh and thought it was fairly well done. I didn't think the fantasy red umbrella, like Mary Poppins, added anything, though the extras make a big deal out of it. The 5th Avenue family is well played, if overacted somewhat. Paul Giamatti is great as the rich father. Scarlett Johansson has a decent script to work with, and she comes off well. See this for some light entertainment. I wouldn't really call it a chick flick."
A new world... the big city!
H. Paratte | grafton, n-s,canada | 10/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"this movie is really good. Ok, so scarlett Johansson is almost always in great movies but this one is sweet and shows a different way of looking at the 'high class' society,and nannies of course! she delivers a good performence and the kid too.With unexpected twists and a good ending this was a fine movie to enjoy while sipping on hot chocolate."