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The Nanny Diaries April 12, 2008

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.
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Based on a novel of the same name by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, this film is an inert comedy cum drama. Annie is a college graduate who is unable to decide on her future when she is accidentally hired as a nanny by Mrs X. The X family is a stereotypically dysfunctional upper class family and the film depicts Annie’s learning experiences even as she teaches them a thing or two.

Writer-director duo Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (American Splendor) don’t have material compelling enough for a winning motion picture. Between the stock characters, spiritless romance, soporific drama and mildly appealing satire, this film falls flat.

It is a shame because two actors do impress. Laura Linney (The Savages, Love Actually, Mystic River) gets the best part as Mrs X and she shines. Paul Giamatti (Lady in the Water, Sideways) also has fun as Mr X. The same cannot be said of Scarlett Johannson (The Prestige, Lost in Translation) who once again okays a film that doesn’t give her a chance to sparkle.

When the promotional material showed Johannson with an umbrella, one had hoped that this film might be in the Mary Poppins genre. It is anything but and the references to that film were unwanted and unwelcome.

Neither funny nor insightful, this decidedly uneventful film is avoidable.