Johansson’s ‘Nanny Diaries’ disappoints

Alexandra Capotorto

Based on the novel written by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus, “The Nanny Diaries” revolves around Annie Braddock, a recent college graduate who is determined to put off adulthood for as long as she can by becoming a nanny for the summer. It’s clear that the young Braddock truly doesn’t even know who she is yet.

A chance encounter in Central Park leads Annie, played wonderfully by Scarlett Johansson, to accept the job as a full-time nanny. Annie is to take care of 5-year-old Grayer, a spoiled yet adorably sweet Park Avenue son of a couple whom she simply calls “the X’s.”

Mrs. X, (Laura Linney) is a narcissistic and vain mother who spends her days shopping, going out to lunches, and complaining. It’s her demeaning behavior towards Annie, though, by calling her “Nanny!” that seems to be most unpleasant. And then there’s Mr. X, (Paul Giamatti) a character whose face isn’t revealed to us right away. He’s a self-absorbed, predictable cheating husband who finds any excuse to abandon his poor (no pun intended) family.

Having had enough of the bickering between the X’s, and the unfriendliness of Mrs. X, Annie walks around and mopes, debating whether or not to quit her job, but is distressed over leaving because she’s become so attached to Grayer. Her constant whining about her job to “Harvard Hottie” (Chris Evans), the preppy, handsome guy she meets, lead you to wonder why she hasn’t already left.

The movie in itself is a little disappointing, but thanks to Johansson and Linney’s fantastic portrayal of their characters, watching the movie becomes bearable and not tedious.

Grade: C+