This movie made me a Scarlett Johansson fan. She is charming and real in this role. To be girly for a minute – I love her as a brunette. I also love the skirts & sneakers combination that I try so hard to make look cute, and she manages to look downright adorable in. Back to movie reviewing…
I didn’t read the book, unfortunately, but the movie was excellent. The opening sequence sets the scene perfectly, providing unknowing viewers with an image of nanny-filled life on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Annie Braddock (Scarlett Johansson) is a recent college grad with a finance major and an anthropology minor. After she freezes in her first interview for a finance-related position, she takes a soul-searching stroll through New York’s Central Park. Here she stumbles into Grayer (Nicholas Art) and his mom Mrs. X (Laura Linney). (For the duration of the film, Grayer’s parents are known as Mr. & Mrs. X.)
Annie takes the position as Grayer’s full-time nanny, despite her best friend’s (Alicia Keys) disapproval and having to lie to her mother (Donna Murphy) about where she’s working. She quickly learns that life as a nanny isn’t fun & games. It’s organic food and dry cleaning. It’s also dealing with a high-strung woman who has no apparent reason for being high-strung. She doesn’t have a job. The nanny takes care of the kid 24/7. And her husband, though he has his faults, manages to bring in some major cash.
Grayer and Annie bond over illicit peanut butter & jelly meals (he’s supposed to be eating fancy French food “to help him with his understanding of the language”) and a secret nickname. He, very rightfully so, loves her more than he loves his own mother. The more Annie dislikes Mrs. X, and dealing with Mr. X’s infidelities, the more she knows Grayer needs her.
Complicating things further is Harvard Hottie, the ultra-charming and handsome neighbor played by Chris Evans. Annie knows that personal relationships will threaten her position as Grayer’s nanny (rumor is the last nanny was fired for going on one date), but Harvard Hottie is, well, hot. And charming. And polite. And all the things a Jersey girl could possibly want in an uptown boy.
I really liked this movie, which came as a surprise to me because I never read the book and I’ve never been a Scarlett fan. (It’s just not fair that she’s 7 months younger than me, has a huge movie career, owns an apartment in Brooklyn, and dated Josh Hartnett. It’s not fair for a girl to be so lucky. Although I think I’m mainly jealous over the Josh Hartnett part.) However, this movie pulled me in. I could see how a girl could get so involved in taking care of this little boy whose parents don’t pay attention to him. How she could feel like she had no choice but to put up with the miserable job, just so he could be shielded from his parents’ fighting. Overall, an excellent movie. The cast is great. Everyone seems very natural in their roles and the story is entertaining and compelling. Definitely check this one out.
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