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On a snowy night off, blonde student Haylie Duff (as Claudia Wellsley) and her likewise attractive boyfriend Eric Johnson (as Drew) meet his roommate pal Jon McLaren (as Jace Matthew Stevenson) for dinner. The trio is interrupted by a phone call from Ms. Duff's brother Dillon Casey (as Carter). He's been arrested, for the third time. Stealing a car was only "borrowing," according to Mr. Casey. Duff bails him out and returns to her job as "nanny" for wealthy, but busy mom Jessica Steen (as Julia Tyrrell). Next, we learn Casey is involved with a nasty drug gang, and owes them money. Obviously, "My Nanny's Secret" of the title, Casey visits his sister Duff and begs for a $12.000 loan. He says, if he doesn't get the money, he will be killed. "I'm not taking your crap anymore," Duff says, refusing to give him any more money...
A deadly robbery occurs, which could cost Duff her job...
Writer Christine Conradt and Duff give us an appealing lead character. Unlike many "Lifetime" TV movie headliners, we trust "Claudia" and want to see her succeed. While a bit too fidgety and easy to read, Casey elicits hesitant empathy. Steady staging by director Douglas Jackson makes the pivotal moments work. We know, when Duffy moves in to open a door, what's possible; a second of suspense before the startle. It's simple, but it works. The main characters come together for a final confrontation in an interesting setting, but full advantage of the workplace is not taken (budget and TV suitability come into play). The identity of the burglar is the main mystery. Everyone in the cast and crew does well with the assignment, but the production is too ordinary and your interest may run out before the villain's identity is revealed.
***** My Nanny's Secret (2009-08-29) Douglas Jackson ~ Haylie Duff, Dillon Casey, Eric Johnson, Jon McLaren
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