Customer Reviews: The Nanny Diaries (Widescreen Edition)
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VINE VOICEon May 30, 2009
I had no intention of seeing this flick. My daughter, who spent a few years as a nanny, didn't care for it. And I didn't know what to expect. But at the video store, with coupon in hand and slim pickings, I rented it.

I ended up being charmed by the unique quirkiness of this film. Nanny Diaries includes a hint of Mary Poppins along with a museum-type look at family norms and not so norms throughout the movie. This film has elements of terrible sadness and that is why my daughter didn't like it. The viewer gets to see the inside of a very unhealthy family. Annie (Johannson) doesn't come from much healthier stock with a mom who is over-bearing and hard to please and a father who is a non-figure in her life.

Annie hits her crossroad moment when a potential new employer asks her who she is. Annie discovers who she is by her short time as a nanny.

I was impressed with the total lack of on-screen sexuality. Annie has a behind closed doors moment with a kissing scene leading up to it and Mr. X is in two compromising situations that mostly play out off camera. One or two F-Bombs and a smattering of the usual curse words give it the PG-13.

I was pleased with the ending and overall really liked this film. The acting is very good, Giamatti was very easy to despise and Linney played her role as vulnerable selfish socialite flawlessly.
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on November 24, 2007
The basic story: Annie, a recently graduated Anthropology student, panics under the pressure her mother is putting on her to become a businesswoman. Hoping to get some downtime and get her head together, Annie takes a job as a nanny with "Mr. and Mrs. X" for their son Greyer.

Mr. and Mrs. X, as you might guess, are appalling people (think the Real Housewives of Orange County) who mistreat their son and are far more concerned about image than reality. Annie, who grows to love and pity Greyer, finds that she's become his sole emotional support, and so puts up with all the abuse Mrs. X dishes out, as well as the creepy advances of Mr. X (who is a lecher, though Mrs. X is desperately in denial) in order to support him.

All of this was very poignant and realistic. However, it seems like the filmmakers wanted to make a feel good movie, and the above is not feel-good material. Thus, a plastic romantic interest and an ending where everyone learns their lesson is added in to assure the audience that it's all in good fun. I was left very skeptical of how quickly various characters came to momentous decisions.

Still, Nanny Diaries is a movie with a lot going for it. The acting is wonderful throughout, with Mr. and Mrs. X (played by Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney) in particular giving very vivid performances. There are also a few cute and funny scenes scattered inbetween the depressing bits of Mrs. X being a shrew and Mr. X cheating.

Nanny Diaries is a movie worth seeing, but don't be surprised if the ending makes you feel a bit blindsided.
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on August 28, 2007
I saw this movie a few days ago with my 18 y/o daughter. We both loved the film and commented afterwards how classy Scarlett Johansson is. She is funny, beautiful, and intelligent in this film which deals with a woman who just completed her Anthropological Degree at a college and decides to be a Nanny instead of pursuing her mother's dream. Very insightful film, and Laura Linney does a great job too. Highly Recommended
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on September 22, 2007
-I knew absolutely nothing about this movie going in. Didn't know who was in it or what it was going to be about. To my surprise I enjoyed the well made movie very much. It had great acting, a solid story, and whiles not being original had it's own unique charms that makes it a very enjoyable movie.

-The movie tells the story of Annie who is a recent graduate plucked into a world she wasn't expecting. She plans to be a financial consultant or something like that but ends being a nanny by chance. The rest of the movie follows her on her adventure as she learns what it takes to be a nanny in NY, and also learns what it takes to survive life.

-The film-making technique is not necessarily an original one in which the main character narrates the whole story but what helps in this one is that it's quite an entertaining narration and she doesn't narrate the whole movie so it does help. The odd visual style is also nicely done with some unique effects and one really weird scene in which we see Annie flying through New York all Mary Poppins style.

-Scarlett Johansson is building quite an impressive resume with this brilliant movie. Last year she was great in "The Prestige" and now this year she knocks it out of the park in this. I unlike 99.7% of men don't find her hot nor do I fantasize about her, but she is a very good actress and I hope she gets more roles that showcases her acting assets like this one did. She plays her character with a sweet down to earth nature that really makes you root for her all the way. I didn't think at the start of this year that one of my favorite movie characters would be a nanny but alas that is the case here. Singer turned actress Alicia Keys plays the best friend Lynette. She's not featured an awful lot in the movie, but the small doses of her are well acted.

-Laura Linney plays the cold and kinda misunderstood Mrs. X. Yeah she seems like shrewd cold hearted woman when we first meet her, but after getting to know her husband Mr. X played the great Paul Giamatti, we begin to understand why she does certain things that she does. Linney has one great scene towards the end of the movie in which she realizes what horrible mother she has been and the way Linney plays that scene is truly stuff of great acting. Instead of going all over emotional, she simply just lets a tear fall down her face and that simple tear just nails everything she's feeling at that moment. Paul Giamatti also does a great job in this as the a**hole husband and whiles not his best performance, he's still dynamite as always.

-At the end of the day I really enjoyed this fun movie. It had comedy, romance, child abuse and life lessons. It may not have great replay value but the first viewing should please everyone that watches it.

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on January 6, 2016
I am giving this 3 stars because the subject matter was a lot heavier than I wanted in a movie marketed as a "light rom/com". I would give the acting a 5 because the actors did a fab job. I found it sad and depressing to see the husband so cruel and heartless...and I think the thing that bothered me most is that it is probably more true than we know that the kids of these rich families love their nannies more than their parents simply because that is who is truly raising them. What an empty world they live in.
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VINE VOICEon March 15, 2008
I was pleasantly surprised by this movie, which is an adaptation of the hilarious book by the same name. "The Nanny Diaries" stars Scarlett Johansson as Annie, a recent college grad who decides to postpone her impending business career and takes a job as a nanny for Grayer, a young boy who lives on the Upper East Side in New York City. Annie quickly discovers that her new life as "Nanny" isn't all it's cracked up to be. Grayer's father, Mr. X (Paul Giamatti), is an adulterous workaholic who's never at home, and Mrs. X (Laura Linney) is a completely hands-off mom who is also the Employer from Hell. Even though she desperately wants to quit her job, Annie decides to stick it out because she can't bear to leave poor little Grayer alone with his crazy inattentive parents.

Overall, I enjoyed this film. It wasn't quite as funny as the book, but the cast is excellent, especially Johansson and Linney. This is one of those rare instances where a lot of elements from the book were changed for the big screen adaptation, and most of the changes didn't bother me all that much (having Annie live with the X's, Mr. X making a pass at Annie, etc.). The ending of the movie is different from the book, in that Mrs. X actually manages to grow a heart at the end of the film, which SO does not happen in the novel! I prefer the way the book gave an honest depiction of the fact that there are a lot of horrible parents in the world who will just never change, but I'm sure the Hollywood types prefer a happy ending whenever possible, and that's what they gave this film. As a standalone movie, I think the ending was perfectly fine...I just like the book version better, that's all.

In spite of a few minor flaws, "The Nanny Diaries" really delivers. It's a light, fun little movie that I recommend.
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on November 9, 2015
It was a fun way of showing what caregivers do for other peoples children. Of course not to the extent of a nanny but nevertheless when someone else is caring for your child they become an influence. What I like about the movie is the reminder that your children are your own and they love you but take advantage of the time that you have with them in their early years so that they have fond memories and a long lasting bond with their parents. It's not a serious movie but thats what I got from it.
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on August 7, 2008
I never read the book, so I saw this fresh and thought it was fairly well done. I didn't think the fantasy red umbrella, like Mary Poppins, added anything, though the extras make a big deal out of it. The 5th Avenue family is well played, if overacted somewhat. Paul Giamatti is great as the rich father. Scarlett Johansson has a decent script to work with, and she comes off well. See this for some light entertainment. I wouldn't really call it a chick flick.
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on September 6, 2015
Extremely realistic and a laugh a minute. The story is not uncommon for college grads who become nannies for the extra perks of wealthy families. It also shows the other sides of being a nanny while still remaining light, fun and a pleasure to watch. It briefly shows hows other nannies can become trapped as lowly lowly paid and invisible servants. The story shows how being a nanny can be a life expanding experience, a trap, a constant battle with children and/or parents and a love story. I recommend this to anyone who is in the mood for a light story that is somewhat realistic, humorous, and ridiculous even though possible situations. Add to the list that it is a different kind of love story and you have it all. It is a bit predictable in the end though it is an end worth waiting for leaving you feeling fulfilled.
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on February 6, 2016
Sort of a cross between "The Devil Wears Prada" and "Uptown Girls." Some parts were a bit ridiculous: A 5-year-old in a stroller? I've always liked Chris Evans. Scarlett Johansson usually does a fair job, and she is believable here as a middle-class New Yorker. Laura Linney's performance was bland and not that difficult to pull off, but I guess that's just the way the part was written. If you're a fan of "The Americans," you'll enjoy a few glimpses of "Martha" playing another nanny (and looking much younger and different).
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