'Nanny' a No-No
Now, very much in the "Prada" vein, we have "The Nanny Diaries." Like last summer's hit, it boasts a blue-chip cast, including
The casting is all fine; everything else is pushy and out of joint. The team of Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini co-directed and adapted the catty best seller by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. Berman and Pulcini name their heroine Annie Braddock and play her up as a working-class Jane. (Something about Johansson and her aura of self-regard, frequently at odds with her talent, means she has to work at this "just plain folk" thing a little.)
In the movie version, the nanny is a relentless fabricator, lying to her Jersey mother (Donna Murphy, an excellent Broadway alum) about her new job from the get-go. Big mistake. The story didn't need this extra source of "tension" and "conflict." It makes the central character seem seriously whacked, and because the film's comic tone wavers between gross caricature and pathos, the comic possibilities of the deception are lost.
The film wants it both ways with its jewel-encrusted milieu, as have so many great and mediocre class-warfare comedies in decades past. Annie lives a double existence, hanging with her pal and sounding board (
The bitter joke of "The Nanny Diaries," its initial selling point upon its publication five years ago, was simple: See how pathetic and self-absorbed these miserable creatures are. Money can't buy you love. Back in
They should've thrown everything away except the title and the outline. That's what the "Devil Wears Prada" creative team did, and that film turned out a lot richer than this one.
Get showtimes and movie details for "The Nanny Diaries."