The Nanny Diaries Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini

The Nanny Diaries Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini
I got more and less than I expected from this bestseller adaptation — though it’s goes down easier than the average film of its kind, there’s still the sense that it isn’t getting to the bottom of its socially explosive material. Scarlett Johansson stars as a recent college grad who’s unsure of what to do with her life. She thinks that she’ll have time to think when she takes a job as a nanny but she has the misfortune of being hired by an absurdly rich couple X (Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney) who treat her like scum and pay almost no attention to their long-suffering five-year-old. As Annie bonds with her charge and experiences the child neglect of wealthy culture, she realises that there are bigger issues at stake than whether or not she can find herself. The film uses a pointedly naturalistic style that mostly tries not to caricature the nature of the Xs and their madness, but it doesn’t quite get as deep into class matters as it should. Though a scene where a Jamaican nanny puts the heroine in her place underlines the exploitation of vulnerable people, the film is still mostly devoted to someone who doesn’t come with the economic baggage of the genuine underclass. As well, the script takes a couple of annoying shortcuts, including love interest Harvard Hottie (Chris Evans), who takes Annie to task for her self-absorption while seeming pretty smug himself. The movie absolutely won’t kill you, but it doesn’t challenge any assumptions or in any way rock the boat. Extras include an ultra-standard making-of doc (whose predictable theme is how wonderful everyone was to work with), an unenlightening interview with source-book authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, and a blooper reel inexplicably presented by L’Oreal Paris. (Alliance Atlantis)