Monday, August 27, 2007

Book to Movie: The Nanny Diaries

Though I vaguely remember the details of The Nanny Diaries, I do remember thoroughly enjoying it. Normally, I would reread a book before I go see the movie (mostly so I can complain about the differences) but in this instance I chose not to. Actually, I just forgot.

As with any movie adaption of a book, there will always be inconsistencies or changes made to create movie drama and there is no exception here. I don't remember book Annie ever being a budding anthropologist, I checked and she was in fact still attending college in the book, but this device served the movie well. Her interest in anthropology allowed for some highly stylized freeze frame/wax museum exhibit scenes. Fun!

Overall, this is a pretty formulaic "chick-flick", but is it the next "The Devil Wears Prada"? Nope. Don't think so. In the book continually refering to the family as the X's was a tool to preserve "privacy", but in the movie it was played to its comedic hilt and produced numerous laughs at the ridiculousness of it all. The Mary Poppins references/dream sequences were endearing and enjoyable. The film producers, no doubt recognizing the inevitable comparisons to The Devil Wears Prada, poked fun by including a scene where Nanny asks the grandmother to keep an eye on the young charges while she goes to the bathroom. Annoyed, grandma responds, "hurry up! I'm on the last chapter!" The book of course, is the afore-mentioned The Devil Wears Prada.

Both lead actresses are superb in their own right. Laura Linney takes what could have been a one dimensional character and makes you feel for her. I don't remember any redemption for Mrs. X in the book, but she is redeemed quite nicely in the movie. There is no amount of brown hair, or horrible shoes and socks combinations that could make Scarlett Johanssen look like a frump, but they tried and failed. All of her scenes with the actor who played Grayer were alternately hilarious and heartwarming, especially the last one which I admit made me spill a tear or two. Alicia Keys didn't have many scenes, but she did an adequate job (I am looking forward to future projects from her) and Paul Giamatti, needs no praise, as he is always good.

So, unless your guy is super obsessed with Ms. ScarJo (and you should worry if he is) this is definitely one for the girls. Go see it and if you haven't already, pick up the book, it'll be a fun way to while away these last few days of summer.

Final take: Book and Movie 3.5/5.


Julie August 28, 2007 at 11:27 AM  

I read the book so long ago that I figured I would remember what was important. Although I thought since it was co-authored we'd have co-nannies and it doesn't seem to be the case.

I'll see it even though I don't care for ScarJo because I thought the book was cute and well Chris Evans is easy on the eyes. ;) It'll probably wait for cable or DVD though.

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