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The Nanny Diaries (2007)

Reviewed on 2006 September 4

Parts of the movie are formulaic and predictable — many parts, and some very so — and we see the resolution coming from a mile away. Still, the acting is good and the movie goes a long way on Johansson's sheer charm.

Annie Braddock (Scarlett Johansson) is a business major with a secondary degree in anthropology, and despite the money she could have with a mainstream job, she is having some reservations about not pursuing her real love. She reflects on this one day in the park, and soon discovers that rich New York mommies are clamoring to have a smart, capable nanny for their little precious, so they can be free to knit tofu sweaters or whatever rich women in that circle do. Mrs. X (Laura Linney) seems particularly sweet and takes Annie out for lunch for an interview. Mrs. X assures Annie she's the perfect caretaker for their little Grayer (Nicholas Art).

To Annie, this seems like a dream come true: Taking care of a cute kid, sharpening her anthropological skills while observing Idleus Richicus Momicus, and getting paid for it. The first problem is her mother, Judy (Donna Murphy). Judy is a nurse on her feet all day, and wants her daughter to have a sweet job in a cushy office. Annie feels her mom will not understand her new vocation. The other problem is Mrs. X, who isn’t the sweet person she presented herself to be. She’s going to run Annie ragged, and her Grayer is going to get into the perfect school, and her nanny is going to be instrumental in Grayer’s appreciation of foreign cultures, and and and…

Linney was hilarious as the self-absorbed Mrs. X, and could lay it on thick enough to be annoying, and still garner empathy in some scenes. Johansson was good at making Annie seem like she was thinking about her life and not just being a flake.

Two chocolate morsels and an iced tea, plain or Long Island.


morsel morsel

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