Mirror: “The Nanny Diaries”

welcome to Mirrora monthly movie column in which I rewatch and then rewatch a movie I’ve already seen under the new (and improved?) critical lens of 2022. I’m so glad you’re here.

nanny diaries can’t decide if he wants to be mean girls Where The devil wears Prada. In the old Tina Fey film from 2004, our protagonist is a fish out of water with an anthropologist’s worldview, using taxonomy to navigate the new world of privilege she finds herself in, ending with ” become native” before breaking the hierarchy with a Big Speech (and a bus accident). She reintegrates into the new ecosystem and everyone is better off. In 2006 Prada, our heroine is a fish out of water who learns the tricks of the trade through trial and error and gets lost in the glitz and glamour, but when she sees the cruelty at the heart of the industry, she walks away . The magazine’s world, however, is unaffected by his absence.

Both are parodies of a certain social order based on books inspired by real life, and both were hits. It is logical that nanny diaries would get the same adaptive treatment in 2007. But this film struggles to choose a path or find a single voice between these two similar but distinct story ideas. In the end, the world isn’t completely muddled and the lessons aren’t really learned (or won). The elements are there, but the presentation falls flat.

We meet Annie (in the book, her name is Nan, one of the few changes that robs satire of its power) (Scarlett Johansson) on her college graduation. She wants to study anthropology, and her inner monologue and frequent fantasy sequences show us that she sees the world with a Goodallian withdrawal. Compared to the “wild animal” scenes of mean girls, these are tame at best, but not totally boring. Annie’s single mother, however, worked as a nurse so Annie could live the good life, which meant a career in finance. Instead, Annie takes a nanny job and lies to her mother about it.

As the X family’s nanny, she meets spoiled son Grayer, uncaring mother Mrs. X (Laura Linney), cheating wealthy husband Mr. X (Paul Giamatti), and Harvard building resident Hottie (Chris Evans) . In the end, she learned that money can’t buy happiness, so she decides to study anthropology after all now that she’s been fired. She leaves behind a NannyCam tape describing X parenthood, and we find that Mrs. X took her words to heart and became a loving single mother. All’s well That ends well. And on the way? Nothing.

In the end, the world isn’t completely muddled and the lessons aren’t really learned (or won). The elements are there, but the presentation falls flat.

Mrs. X doesn’t get Miranda Priestly’s lines or the vices of a truly vicious villain (a bullied UES mom should take pills every day!). Mr. X’s affair, a major turning point in the book, barely registers. We meet his mother (who at one point literally reads The devil wears Prada sitting on the beach), an introduction that does not pay off at all. Annie, we are told, has not had sex for a long time and is not supposed to have any male visitors. Since she falls for a guy in the building, you’d think there would be a scene of one of them sneaking out of the other’s house, but such physical comedy doesn’t exist; even the fruits within reach are not harvested. Oh, and Annie’s best friend is Alicia Keys, for no particular reason.

In this world, the worst thing a parent can do is ignore their child, the sexiest thing a man can do is smile, and the bravest thing a woman can do is hold on. head to her employer when the latter is absent from the room and has already dismissed her. Not exactly fascinating.

Because this world is so ripe for parody and because the lead actress is so naturally a winner, all of this might be forgivable just for the sake of watching a rom-com…if it weren’t for trendy girls.

Johansson struggles to appear insecure enough, and you can sense Linney leaning toward pathos in every scene. She has this character, if only the material allowed her to take her somewhere. There’s nothing that sets this family apart from others on the block, though they’re not high enough to be a satirist of all UESer. In short, the writing lacks specificity on all sides, more of a plan than a real script.

And yet, because this world is so ripe for parody and because the lead actress is so naturally a winner, all of this might be forgivable just for the sake of watching a rom-com…if it weren’t for trendy girls. In 2003, Brittany Murphy and Dakota Fanning made the ultimate Upper East Side nanny movie, as classic as Mary Poppins (well almost). Compared to the humor, emotion, liveliness and fun displayed in this film, nanny diaries feels positively stable. There’s just no room for it on the shelf. I watched it once years ago and haven’t thought about it since. I also recommend that you let it slide. Florida