The Nanny Diaries

This film is neither new nor old, released in 2007, I just finished watching it this evening. Here is my consensus.

Starring Scarlett Johanson, and directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, this film, based off of the novel entitled The Nanny Diaries, this film is conflicting for me. Johansen plays a girl just graduated from her undergraduate studies, whose mother, a hard-working nurse, expects her to go into the field of finance. Johansen, feeling too much pressure, falls into the nanny field through rather strange circumstances. She takes advantage of the opportunity to observe “another culture” and further her studies in anthropology. Laura Linney plays the mother of the child who Johansen nannies, aptly named Mrs. X. Her husband is played by Paul Giammati, a favorite of mine.

The plot of the story and underlying themes are ever so overwhelmingly sad. The prospects of a family falling apart, a husband who pays no attention whatsoever to his wife and child, a child practically abandoned by his parents to be raised by a practical stranger (their nanny). Despite these depressing themes, the movie encompasses an air of a light comedy–not quite an appropriate feel for so serious themes.

Linney and Giammati are fantastic in their roles, perhaps because I’ve seen them in other roles which encompass the antithesis of their characters in this particular film. The ending of the story is rather inappropriate to the rest of the film, a happy ending thrown on to please an audience.

Despite the conflicting attitudes of the film, it’s a worthwhile watch. Not a classic, but worth while to experience the many shades of Linney and Giamatti. I have never read the book myself, but perhaps that would be a better place to turn for a better balance of joy and disparity.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Overall: The movie has some great performances, but isn’t terrific. It’s interesting, and good for a rainy day but not at the top of my list of movies to watch. Themes of sadness and happiness don’t blend well, making the film conflicting.

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