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Reviews & Ratings for
The Nanny Diaries More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Maybe a rental but don't buy it

Author: GoodsoM4 from Maryland, United States
4 January 2008

Both my wife and I were disappointed with the movie. The casting and acting were fine but the script and direction was sub-standard. Cliché after cliché. Did we really have to experience another person who needed to find themselves; Hollywood, give the rest of the nation a break already. What a wasted opportunity to showcase both the light and dark side of the filthy rich through a "servant's" eyes. Having used several nannies ourselves to help our two worker family we could relate to the better side of this experience (especially when a nanny is made part of the family). But the movie was so badly handled compared to the book and the real life experience that it was time wasted.

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Jersey Girl VS New York Liberals!

Author: vitaleralphlouis from United States
1 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Don't expect the usual toilet humor or food-on-the-wall scenes, this picture is more serious, original, and in my opinion it's less a comedy than a romantic drama.

The story asks this question: How can people who have everything be so miserable. The focus is on the self-absorbed, misdirected, essentially valueless people who inhabit New York's Upper East Side. In this sorry land of velvet lined damnation, parents are too busy with either careers or let's-pretend meetings for one shallow and pointless reason or other. Kids are just one more aspect of their self-dramatized lives; not anyone to love, instruct, or care about. These are your East Side Liberals, and heaven help their offspring.

Scarlett Johanssen plays a young woman having difficulty in the Manhattan job market who falls into a nanny's job by accident. She's better equipped than she supposes, having been taught good values by her Jersey mom.

No sense saying more, except it's one of 2007's few good movies. See it!

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4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:


Author: Alina Skelly from United States
2 September 2007

I usually love Scarlet J. and I liked the book. so I came in with kinda high expectations and was a little board and some how Scarlet wasn't as good as I thought she should have been.

Other wise a good story for making a movie out of it. a good actress that was still nice to look at even if you didn't quite believe her character and some good performances out of the other actors.

Maybe if I hadn't had such high expectations I might have liked it a little more. go and see the film on DVD, or better yet go rent another film, and unless you have worse choices watch this film. Which is as a shame because it really could have been a solid good film. I am not certain what caused the film to not work. Directors fault?

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Better than I expected

Author: irish23 from United States
28 June 2008

Friday nights are for fluff. Light, frothy, predictable concoctions that pass the time relatively pleasantly without requiring much brain or heart power. At least this is so at our house.

The Nanny Diaries has been sitting on the Friday stack for a couple weeks and got its turn last night. I'd listened to the first few chapters on audiobook but never gotten around to completing it, so I didn't have anything to compare it to. I expected a potentially disappointing picture that I would fast-forward through half of, and that would immediately exit my brain.

To my surprise, I discovered a class critique and social justice story intermixed with the standard coming-of-age blah blah blah. It was wonderful to see so many women on screen with speaking parts, and especially women of so many ethnicities -- rare in any mainstream picture! The examination of working class, middle class, and upper class was surprisingly compelling, and the occasional jabs at our middle class heroine's own privilege and naivete were wonderfully done.

Laura Linney was outstanding in her role as Mrs X, bringing layer upon layer to the character with the most subtle gestures and expressions. I didn't even recognize Paul Giamatti until the very end of the film. Partly due to the excellent make-up job, but also due to his utter submersion into character.

I laughed, I cried, I cared -- not at all what I expected. While still staying within the bounds of predictability (few consequences are explored in any significant way, and there are no plot surprises), the picture still found a way to be compelling.

What brought me down the most was Scarlett Johansson's character and her acting. Everyone else seems to be raving about her, so I must have missed something. Her character is allegedly taking an anthropological "observer" role, which perhaps Johansson took a little too far, since it appeared she never actually inhabited the skin of her character. In many ways, the picture *she's* watching is far more compelling than the one she's in. I was underwhelmed by her acting and, indeed, was most distracted when she was alone on screen. The other characters and acting were so much more interesting and compelling (even Alicia Keys was more interesting in the stock "sassy black girlfriend" role) that Johansson alone just seemed to pale on the screen.

The script was decently written and the filming a wonderful love letter to NYC, capturing much of the city's unique flavor. With someone else in the lead role, and perhaps if the love interest had been chucked altogether (it was totally unnecessary), I would've gone crazy and rated it a 7 instead of a 6! Whoa!

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Infinitely superior to the book

Author: agacyb from Israel
26 February 2008

I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the screen adaptation of what I thought was a really lame novel.

There were several factors that made for this success, the primary one being that the plot and script offered some real shape and intelligence. I remember the book as a pointless whinefest -- what was missing was that "anthropological" (albeit tongue-in-cheek) angle so beautifully developed in the movie. Not to mention a much more satisfying ending!

What a superb cast came together for this picture: Scarlett, I must say, was pitch-perfect for the role -- another surprise, as I'd begun to think of her as a one-note actress with whom I've been growing bored. Laura Linney delivered a great performance, and the kid really brought home the pathos necessary to remind us that there was more at stake than just a mixed-up twenty-one year-old trying to find herself. Alicia Keyes was yet another delightful pleasure in a supporting role.

The icing on the cake was in a double theme of parenting: The movie was obviously about the nanny's employers, but it was simultaneously a commentary on the nanny's relationship with her own mother, with both of them learning some valuable lessons through this experience as well.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Nohing to break new ground, but is a very pleasant movie,

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
4 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have been a Scarlett Johansson fan since I saw her 10 years ago in "The Horse Whisperer", and reinforced with "Lost in Translation." She is always good, even in mediocre movies.

Here she is Annie Braddock, a college graduate who is struggling with who she is and what she wants. Dashing out of an interview to collect her thoughts she saves a young boy in Central Park from a Segway scooter while his mom was looking for him. There was an instant attraction between Annie and the boy, and by coincidence his nanny had just left.

Laura Linney is the mom, Mrs. X. She is very demanding, very self-centered, and never calls Annie by her name, only calling her 'Nanny.' Mr. X, Paul Giamatti, is a wealthy businessman who spends lots of time in Chicago, and probably not always on "business."

Alicia Keys, superb singer, is Annie's friend Lynette. As far as I can tell this is her first role in a feature movie, and she does just fine. I wonder how many know she was in a Cosby TV show when she was 5?

The story breaks no new ground in relationships, but is pleasant entertainment. There is a good message at the end as Annie is able to tell Mrs. X some facts about showing attention to her son.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Cute...but an overzealous attempt at something bigger

Author: Robert W. ( from Ontario, Canada
22 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Comparisons have rolled out when it comes to The Nanny Diaries to the far superior Devil Wears Prada perhaps simply because both films were made fairly close together based on uber popular chick-lit books, with Hollywood "It" Girls as their starring vehicles but somehow The Nanny Diaries just felt far too forced and poorly put together to really gain the reputation that came with The Devil Wears Prada. Somehow it just seems that the Oscar nominated writing team who wrote the screenplay and directed Nanny Diaries (Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini) missed their mark and utilized this as more of a star vehicle for Scarlett Johansson and relied on just that fact alone. I have never read The Nanny Diaries but it would appear that they left too much of the key elements that made the book a success on the cutting room floor. Ultimately I think The Nanny Diaries is supposed to be a humorous and somehow moralistic view of the high society as seen from a struggling University graduate who falls into the position of being a Nanny for one of these rich and troubled families and sees all their dirty laundry from her perspective. While there is the stereotypical kid hates Nanny, Nanny must overcome kid's hatred, Nanny teaches family to love one another again but the comedy is pretty subtle and despite some humorous 'cute' moments, it's not really anything laugh out loud.

Scarlett Johansson is of course The Nanny, Annie Braddock, who needs a change in her life and ends up being the last thing she possibly imagined. Johansson suffers from a true starlet curse when it comes to attempting at playing a down to earth, every day gal kind of character because she just always looks stunning and elegant and although she does have some good comedic timing and I think she likely is a very talented actress but this role just is a little rough around the edges and the dialog wasn't terrific and the plot lacked something so she doesn't really shine but she's good in the role, just not great. Laura Linney is Mrs. X as she's known in the film. She is the mother and elite rich wife that Annie works for. To compare her to Meryl Streep's Devil is like comparing grass to cement...they don't even touch each other. Linney's whiny, angry, devilish character doesn't even touch the depth of Streep. Although she does have her turn around Linney has this way about her in all her roles that make her look so stone faced and unemotional and she wasn't great in this part. Even Paul Giamatti, who is an excellent actor but has fallen onto some hard times as of late with this and Shoot 'em up really just comes across as a total ass, which is kind of the goal to the whole deal but I think they made him too much of a villain to both his son and wife. He looks terrible which is all part of the act I suppose. Young actor Nicholas Art is one exception to the lack luster cast as the young spoiled kid Grayer. He's adorable and really shows a lot of emotion and really does hold your attention for his scenes. Chris Evans is also pretty decent as Annie's love interest 'Harvard Hottie.'

The cast just doesn't really click. This movie is not awful by any means, it's watchable and cute and will likely be many girls' favorite film because it has it's moments but it isn't as great as it could have been. There is a lot of completely missed potential and that's really unfortunate. There is some attempt at satirical humor and a candid look at the elite and family and how one relates to another and the sarcastic take on stereotypical 'Nannies' is humorous and cute. So the best I can say is to give this one a shot but go in with lowered expectations because sadly it won't really blow you away and leaves you with a mild sour taste in your mouth for what could have been. It's just okay. 7/10

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Lighten Up!

Author: emortland from Austin, TX
24 September 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Awwww, c'mon: not every film needs to be a breathtaking tome on the human condition. If you like Scarlett Johansson, then spend a couple of hours and enjoy her delightful screen presence. This movie has good moments, the more I heard the name "Grayer" the more I liked it, and I'm certain every female ethnic group was duly represented in the lineup-of-the-nannies scene. Actually, what I like about seeing movies like this is playing "pop-up video" with myself--for example, I thought Laura Linney was vertically-challenged in "Searching for Bobby Fischer," but fourteen years later in this movie, hey, she seems taller. Also, there was something about the looks of Paul Giamatti's character that I couldn't quite figure out, but then the imagery fell in place when I added little red horns and a tail.

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4 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Mr and Mrs X must have produced this film

Author: lhhung_himself from United States
17 November 2007

My wife loved the book and told me about the outrageousness of the X's and the jabs that the observant narrator made about their empty lives. The film is a huge disappointment - a retread Mary Poppins with a "Let's go fly a kite" happy ending. The talent is completely wasted - Giamatti and Linney are very good and could have done much more with the characters had they been allowed to. Johannsen is miscast - the narrator is way too milquetoast and passive for her. It seemed like she had to grit her teeth to say her lines.

My only explanation is that the people who made this movie were like the X's - completely oblivious. If only people would follow family values, work hard so their kids get a proper education so they could marry above their station - the world would be a better place. That's what Mrs X and her book club would have gotten out of the book (after extensive introspective analysis) and apparently so did their filmmaker friends...

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7 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

A great nanny

Author: ryancm from United States
22 December 2007

Come on folks. This movie is great. Better than I expected. No, I didn't read the book. All the comments regarding the changes from book to screen. Of course. A book can't be filmed as written. A book is a book, a movie is a movie...two different mediums. Like the great PEYTON PLACE. Both the book and movie were tops, but they were different as they should be. NANNY is well cast, especially the always outstanding Laura Linney. She could read the phone book and be wonderful. Everyone shined in this movie, even the little kid. So nice to see a comedy/drama that seems real. So refreshing not to see people blown up, buildings exploding, foul language and no nudity. How refreshing for this day and age. For that reason alone I recommend this charming film. See it and enjoy. I certainly did.

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