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"THE NANNY DIARIES"
(2007) (Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy Minor Heavy None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Minor Heavy Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Romantic comedy: An aspiring anthropologist records her responses to her new employers, an Upper East Side couple who have trouble appreciating each other and their young son.
PLOT:
Unsure about her future, recent college graduate Annie (SCARLETT JOHANSSON) takes a job as a nanny for an Upper East Side couple. Seeing the job as temporary and a kind of anthropological adventure, Annie deems them Mr. and Mrs. X (PAUL GIAMATTI and LAURA LINNEY), narrating as if she's Mary Poppins writing a field diary -- complete with umbrella and objective insight with which to save the child, Grayer (NICHOLAS ART), from the parents she perceives as distracted and self-absorbed.

Once hired, Annie begins describing her own frustrations: Mrs. X calls her "Nanny" (not by her name), expects her to handle diurnal details (picking up Grayer from school, taking him to the park) as well more sophisticated tasks (teaching him French), and refuses to acknowledge her employee might have any life outside her live-in job.

When Annie is attracted to the Xes' upstairs neighbor, whom she calls the Harvard Hottie (CHRIS EVANS), she worries she'll be fired for even thinking about a date, and so she begins lying to her boss. This on top of lies she's telling her New Jersey-based mother (DONNA MURPHY), who believes Annie is living in the city with her best friend Lynette (ALICIA KEYS), making lots of money at a high finance firm.

Annie worries for a while about Grayer, earnestly thinking she must stay in place to protect him. But soon enough, following the formulaic plot, she learns some lessons about telling the truth (to herself as well as others), repackages those lessons for Mrs. X, and frees herself from deception and self-delusion.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Perhaps, if they're fans of Scarlett Johansson or Chris Evans, or like to see parents of young children in distress. For the most part, it's not a film directed at children.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • SCARLETT JOHANSSON plays Annie the nanny, disdained and exploited by her employers, but granted moral high ground by her own diary-like narration.
  • LAURA LINNEY is Mrs. X, Annie's employer, desperate to keep up with the material displays of her peer group but ignoring her child in the process.
  • PAUL GIAMATTI plays Mr. X, busy at work and with affairs, inattentive to his family.
  • CHRIS EVANS is the Xes' upstairs neighbor and object of affection for Annie.
  • NICHOLAS ART plays Grayer, Annie's precious yet emotionally vulnerable charge.
  • ALICIA KEYS is Annie's best friend Lynette, who moves to New York City around the same time in order to go to school.
  • DONNA MURPHY plays Annie's mother Judy, to whom she lies about her employment in the city.
  • JAMES URBANIAK plays the "Nanny Consultant," who interviews Annie when Grayer is not accepted at the fancy grade school his mother wants.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-13 romantic comedy. Profanity includes at least 1 "f" word, while other expletives and colorful phrases are uttered. Some sexually related dialogue is present, and the film shows some making out and the initial (comic) sounds of a sexual encounter from another room. An imagined diorama shows a scantly clad pole dancer, while a woman's bikini style underwear is briefly seen when a young boy partially pulls down her pants.

    Drinking occurs, and a couple of characters appear intoxicated. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, and various thematic elements and tense family material are present. Some behavior may be enticing for some kids to imitate, and brief crude humor occurs.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Mr. X has a drink in his library.
  • Annie and Lynette have drinks at a bar.
  • Harvard Hottie and his friends are drinking beers.
  • Annie drinks wine.
  • Annie and Harvard Hottie have beers at a bar. He invites her to come to the Hamptons with him, where they "can walk on the beach and drink red wine."
  • Mr. X's mother drinks liquor.
  • Annie drinks wine to get drunk and make a tape for Mrs. X she calls "Nannies Gone Wild."
  • Annie and Harvard Hottie drink beers and eat pizza on the roof.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • The opening scene sets up Annie's anthropological interests, as she visits New York's Museum of Natural History and reimagines the dioramas in terms of her options. One shows a young woman with her head near a toilet, frozen before she vomits (illustrating "fasting rituals" of the wealthy).
  • Grayer says, "I have to make a doody" (we don't see the next scene).
  • Angry at the Xes, Annie has their puppy pee on the carpet.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • At various times, Grayer has a bad attitude toward Annie.
  • When they meet on the subway, Annie calls Lynette a "party girl," noting that she's wearing "last night's dress at 8am in the morning."
  • In the park, a man falls into a woman (because he's been ogling another woman), and she says, "Get off of me you pervert!"
  • Women gossip about another woman's imminent divorce.
  • Annie lies to her mother, saying she's moving to the city to work at a finance firm.
  • Maria the maid tells Annie the previous nanny "Birdy" was fired for going on a date.
  • While reading Mrs. X's instructions ("Refrain from entering our bedroom"), Annie does everything she's not supposed to do, assuming the guest room is hers, trying on her employer's shoes, and taking a bubble bath.
  • Frustrated when she spills a dinner she's making, Annie feeds Grayer peanut butter from the jar, then tells him it must remain their secret ("What mommy doesn't know won't hurt her").
  • Mr. X tells Mrs. X he's been "making calls," when he's really been making out with his coworker. He later tries to kiss Annie.
  • Mrs. X presents a sexy slip to Annie and insists that it must be hers. Annie agrees, even though it is not, helping Mrs. X to maintain the fantasy that her husband is not having an affair.
  • Annie tells Grayer, "Today is break the rules day," so they can go to a museum on the West Side and take the subway.
  • Mrs. X demands that Annie cancel her plans for an evening, at the last minute.
  • During a nanny-mom seminar, Annie describes the problem of not getting time off. Mrs. X approves in the meeting, then expresses anger later (she pouts and sends Annie on a night off).
  • When Harvard Hottie's school friends learn Annie is a nanny, one says, "That is so porno!"
  • Annie invites her mother to Lynette's apartment, and pretends it's hers.
  • Annie and Grayer look bored by the mimes his mother has hired for his birthday (he says, "I hate my birthday").
  • Angry at the Xes, Annie has their puppy pee on the carpet. She then gets drunk and tears up Grayer's room to find the nanny-cam. On finding it, she makes an angry, then sad, speech to Mrs. X about not caring for Grayer.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "That is so porno," "Get off of me you pervert!" "I have to make a doody," "Stupid, stupid," "I am so screwed," "You said a curse," "I hate my birthday," "Bonehead" "Dumb ass," and "Some frickin' spa."
  • Grayer kicks Annie in the shins. Grayer says, "I hate you" and sticks his tongue out. He starts fighting with her, then runs away so she has to chase him down the street outside school. He then slaps her hand away and again says, "I hate you."
  • On the elevator, Grayer pulls Annie's pants down (her underwear shows), then runs into his apartment door and locks her out.
  • In a montage, Grayer throws food on a painting, throws soap at Annie, and rips his clothes.
  • Grayer throws food on Annie.
  • Angry at the Xes, Annie has their puppy pee on the carpet.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 5 s" words, 7 hells, 2 damns 4 asses (2 used with 'hole'), 2 uses of "God," and 1 use each of "G-damn" and "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • The opening scene sets up Annie's anthropological interests, as she visits New York's Museum of Natural History and reimagines the dioramas as her options. One shows a scantily clad pole dancer (bra and bikini style bottom).
  • Seeing women on the street who embody her future options, Annie labels one a "Park Slope lawyer with a lesbian life partner."
  • Mrs. X tells Annie, "I went to Smith... we weren't all lesbians."
  • Annie takes a bubble bath and she's visible from the shoulders up and is later seen in towel.
  • Grayer pulls Annie's pants down (we see a partial side view of her underwear), then runs into his apartment door and locks her out. She talks through the door, and her bottom (bikini style panties showing) is visible from Harvard Hottie's point of view (as she's bending over, initially unaware he's there).
  • When Grayer says, "I'm taking off all my clothes," Harvard Hottie says, "That seems to be popular on this floor," referring to Annie's pants being pulled down earlier.
  • In a Betsy Ross costume, Annie shows cleavage, noticed by Harvard Hottie when he sees her on the elevator.
  • Annie and Grayer discover Mr. X in a chair, fondling his coworker. Grayer asks, "Why is daddy tickling that lady?" (she buttons her shirt and says hello).
  • Mrs. X presents a sexy slip to Annie and insists that it must be hers. Annie agrees, even though it is not, helping Mrs. X to maintain the fantasy that her husband is not having an affair.
  • When Harvard Hottie's school friends learn Annie is a nanny, one says, "That is so porno!"
  • When Harvard Hottie says he was attracted to Annie's Betsy Ross outfit, he says it might be part of a "kinky trend." He and Annie are about to kiss, when the scene cuts to their ride to his apartment in the elevator.
  • Outside Harvard Hottie's apartment, he and Annie kiss passionately. They shut the door and something crashes inside, suggesting them embracing wildly.
  • Mr. X tries to kiss Annie. She pushes him away, but Mrs. X sees them and fires Annie.
  • SMOKING
  • An anonymous nanny smokes a cigarette.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Annie tells her mother she may not be "CEO material," disappointing Judy after Annie's college graduation.
  • Mrs. X sternly tells Annie she has broken rules and must obey.
  • Mr. X instructs his wife to "keep [Grayer] quiet tonight," because he has work to do, then shuts the door on his family.
  • Frustrated when she spills a dinner she's making, Annie feeds Grayer peanut butter from the jar, then tells him it must remain their secret ("What mommy doesn't know won't hurt her").
  • Mr. X tells Mrs. X he's been "making calls," when he's really been making out with his coworker.
  • Annie and Grayer overhear his parents arguing, then slamming their door, and Mrs. X cries.
  • When Mr. X doesn't come home for Mrs. X's birthday, the next morning she leaves for a spa, leaving Grayer with Annie. Grayer cries, "Mommy don't go."
  • Grayer gets sick (104 temperature) and Annie calls Judy (a nurse) to help her because Mrs. X at the spa isn't answering her phone. Judy learns the truth and is angry.
  • At the beach, Mr. X says immediately he can't stay and Mrs. X looks mad.
  • Mr. X's mother tells him, "My, you've gotten portly."
  • When Annie has to leave in a cab, Grayer cries, "Don't leave me."
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The idea that even wealthy people can be unhappy ("Having everything doesn't make it any easier").
  • The pain caused by Annie's lying to her mother.
  • The relationship between an anthropologist and her subjects of study.
  • Grayer's fear of being abandoned by adults.
  • The unequal relationship between nannies and their employers.
  • Annie's sense of superiority as she writes her "field diary."
  • Expectations of children.
  • The strained relationship between Mr. X and his mother (which looks to be reproduced in his family)
  • Trying to keep up with material status markers.
  • Ignoring problems in hopes they will go away.
  • VIOLENCE
  • A woman in the park pushes a man off her roughly, thinking he's fallen into her on purpose.
  • Grayer kicks Annie in the shins.



  • Reviewed August 21, 2007 / Posted August 24, 2007

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