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The Nanny Diaries (2007)
I know it's cliché, but the book was better
So I'm not a reader, but I did read The Nanny Diaries awhile back. Having been a nanny, I was very interested in the content. I really appreciated the issues brought forth by the authors, and agreed with many of their insights.
The movie, unfortunately, seems to lighten rather than shine light on the core issues of the book, adding a whimsical tone throughout that I found disappointing. Of greater disappointment, however, was the addition of greater sympathy for the child's mother (Mrs. X) paired with continued vilification of the child's father (Mr. X). In fact, Mrs. X's character is even redeemed at the end while the evil Mr. X is sent packing.
I found it quite irritating that this "modern-day Mary Poppins" followed the bizarre precedent of its predecessor in ultimately placing much of the blame for the children's woes in the lap of the (overly) hard-working father who is, at least, providing income for the family while the mother is off pursuing her own unrelated interests. Thankfully, the male-bashing was not quite as overt as using the phrase "as a group, they're rather stupid" in reference to men, which is a line from Mary Poppins. Don't get me wrong, Mr. X did lack any redeeming qualities, however throwing Mrs. X an undeserved lifeline at the end while allowing Mr. X to drown seemed a bit fishy.
A somewhat confusing subplot also exists with Annie's (the Nanny) mother. While the main focus of the movie seems to be on the evils of luxury and the importance of raising children, Annie's sweet, lovable mother consistently nags Annie to enter the world of business and finance in pursuit of a "better" life. The mother reminds Annie that she worked years of overtime, etc. as a nurse to give Annie the chance to go to a good school and work towards the high life. She is also appalled to learn of Annie's waste-of-time job raising a child.
So, what I gathered from the movie is that it is only OK to leave your child for hours on end if you are a nurse from New Jersey who is trying to give your child an opportunity to one day work his/her way up to a life of luxury (which will, in turn, presumably make said child evil and heartless). Needless to say, the messages in the movie were quite mixed. I read a couple of personal reviews on this movie and they both used the word "cute", which is a far cry from the point of the book. Although I did enjoy seeing the book come to life on the big screen, I have to say that the book was much better. I knew I shouldn't have read a book - it ruined the movie for me.