A magical red umbrella and a reference to ‘Supercallifragilisticexpialidocious!’ does not characterize “The Nanny Diaries” as a “modern-day Mary Poppins.” If you were to make a “modern-day Mary Poppins,” at least make it a decent movie.
“The Nanny Diaries,” directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, was based on the novel The Nanny Diaries, written by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus.
Though the directors cast of some of today’s well-known stars like Scarlet Johanssen, Paul Giamatti, Laura Linley, Donna Murphy, and Chris Evans, the movie was bland and lacked a primary theme.
The movie begins with Annie Braddock (Johanssen) a college graduate who is unsure what to do with her life now. After an “unexpected” run-in with a wealthy young boy and his mother in Central Park, Annie goes to work for the Upper East Side family as their nanny. The movie was full of countless clichés: saving her future charge from being run over in the park while his mother is nowhere to be found, being forced to live in a shoe box of a room next to the washing machine, catching Mr. X cheating on his wife, and catching the eye of the rich “Harvard Hottie” who lives on the 12th floor of the apartment building. The movie was so unbelievably predictable it was funny.
The one thing the directors got right was the cast. Nicholas Reese Art plays Grayer, the spoiled, lonely, fun-deprived, adorable little boy with the biggest brown eyes you’ve ever seen. He is by far the best actor in the movie and the most developed character. Johanssen’s performance was mediocre. Her emotions seemed forced at times, but who can blame her with the script she had to work with. Laura Linley does a decent job as bitchy self-centered Mrs. X, and Paul Giamatti does a fantastic job playing the workaholic father with maybe two lines total.
The only reason to see this movie would be to compare it to the novel, but be forewarned that it will be an outrageous disappointment. The film was a cheesy cliché that should have never made it past screening.