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The Nanny Diaries

A shrill disappointment
By PETER KEOUGH  |  August 22, 2007
1.0 1.0 Stars


VIDEO: Watch the trailer for The Nanny Diaries.


The rich may be different from you and me, but they’re probably not much like the grotesque stereotypes in Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini’s adaptation of this glib bestseller. They’ve reduced it to the shrillest formula. Annie (Scarlett Johansson), a working-class college grad from New Jersey, becomes the punching-bag enabler for “Mrs. X” (Laura Linney), a “Fifth Avenue mother,” filthy rich, idle, neurotic, and far too busy to spend time with her charmless and spoiled four-year-old. Annie not only submits to the boy’s every whim but gamely serves as an outlet for Mrs. X’s fury at the boorish infidelities of Mr. X (Paul Giamatti as a troll). Surely, an hour and a half of such torture must end with a confrontational speech to a teddy bear, the deification of motherhood, and the vindication of PB&Js as better than coquilles Saint-Jacques? Phony from start to finish, and a shocking disappointment from the makers of American Splendor.
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