The Nanny Diaries is a frustrating movie. For all the scenes that offer a nice satirical jab at the life of the wealthy and the nannies that take care of their children, we get just as many boring scenes of our heroine nanny stumbling her way through this world of the rich and thoughtless.
College graduate Annie Braddock (Scarlett Johansson) is at loose ends after flubbing a job interview. When Annie saves a young boy named Grayer (Nicholas Reese Art) at the park, Grayer’s mother, Mrs. “X” (Laura Linney), mistakes Annie for a nanny and offers her a job. Accepting, this puts Annie into a whole new world. Mrs. X is self absorbed. Mr. X (Paul Giamatti) is distant. The two bright sides to being a nanny is the developing bond that Annie has with Grayer and the good-looking neighbor (Chris Evans) who finds Annie interesting.
The Nanny Diaries is entertaining, but when the real fun is watching how awful Mrs. X can be to Annie, the movie drags when the story strays far from Mrs. X’s evil ways. Laura Linney makes the most of the stereotyped character. Scarlett Johansson is so-so in a bland role. The movie is a patchy affair. The movie drags in between funny and smart scenes. With its uneven pace, we wait for the big confrontation between Mrs. X and Annie, but that isn’t as fully satisfying as desired.
The Nanny Diaries may make a better DVD rental than seeing it in the theater. It may also have you laughing. But most likely, it will leave you slightly dissatisfied wishing for more.