The latest in a long line films about a poor little rich kid, ignored by parents, building a relationship with the nanny is The Nanny Diaries. While I wouldn’t say it is a waste of film, it certainly isn’t the best of the genre.
The cast is great. Chris Evans, Alicia Keys and Paul Giamatti are underused. The kid, Nicholas Art, does a commendable job. He drew some tears from me. Scarlett Johansson and Laura Linney perform magnificently, unfortunately the execution of the script left a lot to be desired.
The movie is based on the book by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus; I haven’t read it so I can’t make a comparison. Where the film begins its downward spiral is beginning near the end. Let me clarify…
Annie Braddock tells the story of how a nanny position found her and the ensuing mayhem it brings. We get a glimpse of where things are going before we even meet Annie.
It’s really somewhat clever. Annie minored in Anthropology and the story is told from an anthropological point of view, a field diary, so to speak. There are visual references to characters in display cases in a natural history museum. The parents of her charge are given false names, Mr. & Mrs. X *snort* and her love interest is referred to as Hollywood Hottie. *sigh*
The narration takes the viewer out of the moment. The film would have been more interesting if it had been told in linear fashion without a narrator. It was billed as a comedy but the comic elements were rare. It does have an emotional pull that is laid solely in the hands of Linney and the kid.
The story and acting make this one worth seeing; just don’t expect it to be a grand slam film. It will entertain if you can block out the unnecessary accessories.
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