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The Nanny Diaries
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Nanny Diaries More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

It's not another chick flick, it's something actually worth watching.

Author: Aubrey Althaea from United Kingdom
9 February 2008

How can you not love this movie? It was different, funny, witty and shows us the effects of today's busy society. Nevertheless, Scarlett Johanson played her character extremely well. Although, sometimes it might resemble the movie Uptown Girls, I believe that the Nanny Diaries has much greater depth and meaning to it. You even grow to love the little kid playing in the movie, who was extremely obnoxious in the beginning. The actors portray their characters excellently, stepping into their shoes and doing a great job showing the life of a family who does not have time with each other. I truly think this is one of those movies that really didn't deserve its reviews, because it was wonderfully done.

It's not another chick flick, it's something actually worth watching.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

cookie-cutter comedy

Author: Roland E. Zwick ( from United States
26 September 2009

Recent college grad Annie Braddock (Scarlett Johansson) is all set for a career in business when she quite literally falls into a position as nanny for the four-year-old son (Nicholas Art) of a snooty, self-absorbed Upper East Side socialite named Alexandra X, played by a sadly miscast Laura Linney (among many of the movie's wearisomely cutesy touches is not giving a surname to the family that hires her).

Based on the novel by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, "The Nanny Diaries" is, unfortunately, every bit as predictable and trite as its simpleminded premise would lead one to expect. Beyond trafficking in just about every stereotype and cliché imaginable - the heartless, neurotic, slave-driving elitists; the sensitive knight-in-shining armor love interest (Chris Evans); the nagging, free-living best friend; the lecherous, nanny-chasing husband (Paul Giamatti) - the movie is woefully unsuccessful even at treading that fine line between cleverness and cuteness that can make or break a film of this type. There is an affectionate tribute to "Mary Poppins" that - early on at least - suggests that the movie might actually try to do something a little daring, a little different. But that air of fanciful creativity is quickly squelched in favor of formulaic storytelling and cookie cutter characterizations.

Interestingly, the filmmakers, for all their championing of the women employed as nannies, seem to have almost as low an opinion of the profession itself as do the elite snobs who appear on screen.

All told, Johansson is really the only decent thing about "The Nanny Diaries" (well, little Nicholas Art is pretty cool too), but even her staunchest admirers would be well advised to look the other way when it comes to this film.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Heartmelting, Overwhelmed with Joy

Author: mirosuionitsaki2 from United States
9 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's quite a shock that I have given this movie a ten out of ten review. Not really. I thought this movie was just a wonderful movie. I loved how they show the nice nanny and the evil mother who lies, and is always too busy. I also love how you can see the softer side of her when she cries and the end of the movie where she finally is having fun with the boy. Mentioning the end, that is what I especially loved. When the nanny told off her employer and convinced her to have fun with the boy, and that he is not going to be young forever and that he needs a mother who is there for her. Not some complete stranger who he has to learn to love all over again every time there's a new one..

That's not what exactly she said but you get the idea. I recommend this movie to everyone. Could almost beat Mary Poppins if I actually saw Mary Poppins.

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6 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

leave your attention span at the door

Author: Chris_Docker from United Kingdom
14 October 2007

If you're about to fly off to New York and want something light and fluffy to get you in the mood, Nanny Diaries might hit all the right spots. A fabulous cast, a script by an Oscar-nominated writer-director, and camera-work that takes in the Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum, Central Park and so on. There's ambitious ideas somewhere about commenting on the lure of marrying a rich bloke, or other difficult life choices an aspiring woman might face. Whether the filmmakers have honed such dilemmas with as much enthusiasm as they've put into sets and costumes is another matter entirely.

Annie (Scarlett Johansson) is a pretty anthropology graduate. Despairing of finding a decent job, she is moping in Central Park and fortuitously manages to rescue a precocious young child from a near fatal accident. For this wonderful act she is swiftly offered a job as his nanny, a task which turns out to be impossibly demanding.

The child's mom, and Annie's boss, is a rich-bitch socialite played by Laura Linney. Like a good anthropology student, Annie protects her employer's name in the film, so everyone calls mommy Mrs X - though if this is meant to give an air of authentic Diary-narration I remained less than convinced. Mrs X has hit what our movie refers to as 'pay dirt' by marrying wealthy businessman Mr X, or Paul Giamatti. Mr X treats Mrs X abominably, Mrs X treats Annie abominably, and they all pretend to everyone they're ecstatically happy. A standard Mr Nice Guy neighbourly love-interest is provided by Chris Evans, who played Johnny Storm in Silver Surfer. Mrs X supplies the crosses in this star-crossed romance, and you don't need a Ph.D to guess the ending.

Underlying Nanny Diaries is some biting satirical comment showing the divide between rich and poor and suggesting marrying a loaded husband is another form of sell-out, in spite of all those pressures to 'succeed.' Unfortunately any such depth is quickly washed out with bland chick-flick super-rinse and you'll be left scratching your head if you expected a point. Even the semi-fairytale device of supplanting the character's names with "Mrs X" in the dialogue, or adding quasi-academic voiceovers to give us Annie's interior thoughts, fail to save what is at worst inept and at best a pleasantly wishful-thinking movie. It might be light fun, but its bland derivativeness and lack of any cohesive attempt to tackle its own core subject matter will make you want to forget it faster than a disposable diaper.

At a crucial moment Annie looks like she might reclaim her own life. But I was astounded to find the alternative tempting her is not a decent career but a 'Harvard Hottie.' The best Nanny Diaries achieves is exposing the horrible world of New York nannying; but it this takes serious subject matter and then treats the audience as if they have an IQ of room temperature.

Dialogue fizzles with such standards as, "Money can't buy you love." Although the reply, "But mummy pays you money and I love you," is probably one of the better lines (and as good as it gets). I am sadly left with the feeling that Annie is more airhead than aspiring anthropologist. Instead of standing for female liberation, the film does the usual charismatic rant before capitulating to male dominance. Even if I let imagination run wild after the predictable ending, I cannot envisage her making her alleged diary, if she kept one, into this movie and breaking out of the cycle (even if the authors of the book it was based on did something like that). Nanny Diaries isn't even bad enough to be good.

Annie says, "My desire to be an observer of life was actually keeping me from having one." There are pointed references to Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and even The Devil Wears Prada. Yes, we know Nanny Diaries yearns to be great. And don't all nannies dream of shining careers or knights in shining armour? At least I feel sorry for them wallowing in their mediocrity. But that is more emotion than I can summon up for these very talented people who have palmed me off with such a forgettable film.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Funny, sweet and endearing

Author: mkenyon1978 from Netherlands
15 February 2008

I tried reading the book a few times and could not get any further than the first chapter, so when a friend suggested we go see this movie I wasn't that enthusiastic, but went anyway and was glad I did. Its entertaining throughout and completely shows the difficulty of raising someone else's child as well as living in someone else's home as a live-in nanny without being boring or an overly long rambling movie. Miss Johansson was good as Annie Braddock, she really seemed to capture the character and perfectly acted out the emotions and confusion you feel when confronted with another person's life and choices and childrearing ideas outside the realm of your understanding. Laura Linney as Mrs. X the employer was brilliant and I also loved Alicia Keyes as the best friend and Donna Murphy as Annies Mom. All-in-all a good movie for when you want to be entertained but don't want to have to think too much.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

"Maid in Manhattan" meets "The Devil Wears Prada"

Author: richard_sleboe from Germany
15 September 2008

Charming little movie. The plot is pretty predictable, even if you don't know the best-selling book it is based on, but I had a good time anyway. I could have done without the pseudo-scientific voice-over though (Manhattanites seen through an anthropologist's eyes). Scarlett Johannsen (not my type) looks fabulous with darker-than-usual hair and college girl get-up. Alicia Keys has a nice, natural touch as Annie's best friend Lynette. Laura Linney is fabulous as Annie's bitchy boss, a self-centered Upper East Side mom. Paul Giamatti, cast against character in an interesting way, plays her adulterous Wall Street husband. Guest appearance by super hot Georgina Chapman. There seems to be nothing she can't do.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Be kind.

Author: velene from Singapore
9 March 2008

I think the poor reviews for The Nanny Diaries can be attributed to expectations- I do agree that the book has a much different tone from the movie. But for that reason as well, it therefore is unfair for the movie to be compared on the same level as the book purely because they are two different things. The lack of loyalty of the writers in committing to the book is therefore their fault because they mislead the viewer.

However, given the above, I do think that as a whole, single film, The Nanny Diaries is a joy to watch. It has its weaknesses. Firstly, there are several characters that are given unnecessary screen time (e.g. Grandmother)- that although little, but crucial, as the film is built around characters and the study of characters (fittingly anthropology then) and any more screen time for the protagonists is always good. However, I do think that the cast is great. Personally, I think a good actor brings multiple facets, or develops the character, and I think that Laura Linney, Scarlett Johansson and Nicholas Art does a good job at developing what was given to them. Scarlett and Laura are especially engaging.

The film moves at a great, appropriate pace, and the tone of the film is charming but engaging at the same time. This film is definitely not one to be taken seriously.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A comedy about life at the top, as seen from the bottom.

Author: moviewizguy from United States
1 March 2008

A college graduate goes to work as a nanny for a rich New York family. Ensconced in their home, she has to juggle their dysfunction, a new romance, and the spoiled brat in her charge.

Note, I have not read the book for this film. After finishing this film, I was pleasantly surprised by it. I liked the use of the narrative style and how serious and funny the film really is. Overall, I can't help but compare this to a much better film, also based on a book. It was called "The Devil Wears Prada."

While watching this film, you'll feel like you're watching "The Devil Wears Prada," feeling like you're also as stressed as the characters in the film because it is all too much to bare. Many would complain how predictable and improbable the film may be. I'll go with the fact that the film is predictable, yes but I really don't mind the situations in the film doesn't happen in real life too often.

Most of the jokes were funny and many parts of the film were mostly sweet, if not contrived. I will say that there are some really strong performances in here, not coming from Scarlett Johansson. There are also some inconsistencies in here as well. One moment, a scene may be serious while in the next, they're playing happy music in the background.

Overall, this was a decent movie. I think what makes this movie work are the really strong performances by Laura Linney and Donna Murphy, the funny jokes, and the overall serious tone.

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Yet Another New York Story

Author: larrysmile1 from Illinois
18 February 2008

Scarlett Johansson is beautiful and always a pleasure to watch regardless of the movie she is cast in. It is time to give Scarlett a real romantic role with love, conflict in love, and happily ever after love. She needs a powerful role such as Michelle Pfeiffer in "Frankie and Johnny" with a strong male star like Al Pacino or the type of role Drew Barrymore played in "Ever After."

The story of the Nanny Diaries is what it is. I guess one can call it a "trek" in the days of a college graduate who doesn't know if she is ready for the adult work world. The story could be improved, however. There were a few characters in the movie that I would have deleted as unnecessary to tell the story. Then, I could have taken that screen time and expanded it for more romance scenes for Scarlett.

Specifically, I would have eliminated the Grandmother role of the "X" family as an unnecessary robber of precious screen time. There was little compelling reason for her character other than to give a few days pay to a fellow actress. Also, I would have eliminated the role of Alicia Keys' live-in boyfriend. While it also gave the actor a payday, his part in the story only robbed more time from the relationship between the two best friends, Scarlett and Alicia.

The movie goer only needs to focus on the most principal characters in the story otherwise it detracts when the viewer is trying to identify with a character who is on screen for only 10 second scenes and trying to guess how they fit into the rest of the story.

But, overall, the story was unique in its concept and takes its place as "yet another of the pretentious New York stories" where the residents think that the world rises and sets on their beloved city. {I am allowed to criticize New York because I once lived there.) If that is how people act when they are rich I am glad that I am no-so-rich!

Watch it because Scarlett Johansson is beautiful and remember to see her in "The Girl With the Pearl Earring."

Larry from Illinois

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2 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

the devil doesn't change diapers

Author: postmanwhoalwaysringstwice from usa
7 February 2008

From the film-making team of Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (of "American Splendor" fame) comes a chick flick concept with a surprising twist. In the film Scarlett Johansonn stars as a disenchanted college graduate, who stumbles into a most unlikely situation. Due to coincidence and little more than Hugh Grant-like vocal stammering, she finds herself becoming a full-time nanny to the rich and miserable Laura Linney. From first glance the filmmakers seemed like a peculiar match for such pedestrian material, given their documentary background, but since it's structured around the guise of an anthropological study, it doesn't shy away from spot-on social commentary, the lead performances are strong, and the dialogue has some bite, "The Nanny Diaries" becomes a decent comedy from the "Devil Wears Prada" school.

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