The Nanny Diaries (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner10/10/2007

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 105 mins

Berman and Pulcini's comedy drama isn't as funny or as clever as it thinks it is, but it remains watchable thanks to strong performances from Laura Linney and Scarlett Johansson.

What's it all about?
Scarlett Johansson stars as New Jersey college graduate Annie Braddock, who comes to New York for a job interview but winds up accepting a job as an Upper West Side nanny when she bumps into five-year-old Grayer (Nicholas Reese Art) and his well-to-do, desperately-in-need-of-a-nanny mother, Mrs X (Laura Linney). Annie naively thinks she can use her new job to indulge her anthropological leanings and maybe learn something about herself along the way, but she gets more than she bargained for when Mrs X turns out to be exceptionally demanding and treats her more like a servant than a nanny.

However, just as Annie decides she's ready to quit, she's confronted with two reasons to stay. First, it becomes clear that Grayer has developed a strong attachment to her, and second, the cute guy upstairs (Chris Evans) keeps giving her the eye.

The Good
Johansson is her usual perky, likeable self and she has good chemistry with both Chris Evans and Alicia Keys (as her best friend). Laura Linney can do this sort of thing in her sleep and she's as good as you'd expect, but the script doesn't really do her any favours and her climactic redemption doesn't ring true as a result.

The Bad
The Nanny Diaries is like a less aspirational version of The Devil Wears Prada, only without the wit and only about a quarter of the charm. Similarly, the tedious anthropology metaphor quickly becomes over-used and the Mary Poppins references don't work at all.

The film's biggest problem is that it's neither as funny or as clever as it thinks it is. It also misses the chance to make any worthwhile social comment, beyond the fact that treating nannies like second class citizens is bad, mmkay?

Worth seeing?
The Nanny Diaries remains watchable thanks to Johansson and Linney's performances, but it's nowhere near as good as it could have been.

Film Trailer

The Nanny Diaries (12A)
The Nanny Diaries has been reviewed by 1 users
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01 Annie (tbc)

Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis, Rose Byrne

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02 Paddington (tbc)

Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Sally Hawkins

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03 Get Santa (tbc)

Jim Broadbent, Warwick Davis , Rafe Spall

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04 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 (12A)

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

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05 Taken 3 (tbc)

Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen

Content updated: 21/11/2014 18:56

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