The Nanny Diaries

Where's Mary Poppins when you need her?
  • Review Date: December 3, 2007
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Family members lie to one another, and class differences lead to tension and judgment. The Xs aren't exactly involved, emotionally connected parents.


A little boy kicks his new nanny in the shins; some other pratfall-type moments.


The movie's opening fantasy includes a museum diorama of a pole dancer, Annie's thong is visible when Grayer pulls down her pants, and her cleavage is highly visible when she wears a Betsy Ross costume for the Fourth of July. Mrs. X shows Annie a sexy slip. Rowdy college boys say that dating a nanny is "so porno!" Some kissing in a hallway, followed by a crashing sound from behind a closed door -- insinuating a passionate embrace. Mr. X is seen by his son in mid-fondle with his coworker; the older man later makes a grab at Annie's bottom.


At least one use of "f--k," plus several instances each of "hell," "s--t," and "damn," as well as one "dumb ass" and one "bastard."


Frequent mentions or shots of brand names and corporations, including Goldman Sachs, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Bergdorff's, Chanel, Manolo Blahnik, Tiffany, SpongeBob SquarePants, Converse All-Stars, Lay's potato chips, Cheerios, Ralph Lauren polo shirt.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

An anonymous nanny smokes a cigarette; some social drinking of wine, champagne, and beer. In one scene Annie deliberately gets drunk (on wine).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although teens might love Scarlett Johansson, this movie is about nannies and employee/employer relations -- hardly a big topic of interest for the average 13 year old. Many parents are presented as overprivileged, immature prima donnas. The strain between the central "bad" parent (an upper-class New Yorker) and her less-upper-crust nanny leads to some sad, tense scenes featuring a young boy, as well as some frank discussion of parenting goals and strategies. The film also includes mild sexual imagery (cleavage, kissing, a couple of uncomfortable groping scenes) and drinking (mostly social, though at one point Annie deliberately gets drunk). Language includes one use of "f--k" in anger, plus "s--t," "hell," and the other usual suspects.

What's the story?

Recent college grad Annie (Scarlett Johansson) wants to change the world. An aspiring anthropologist, she reads Margaret Mead and studies the dioramas at the Museum of Natural History. Soon she's studying "bizarre social patterns" of an alien culture less than an hour away from her New Jersey home, as nanny to the X family: Upper East Side denizen Mrs. X (Laura Linney), Mr. X (Paul Giamatti), and 6-year-old charge Grayer (Nicholas Art).

Is it any good?


THE NANNY DIARIES has very little new to say. Instead, it provides Annie with a shaky moral high ground: She'll have to learn some lessons and also find true love with the Harvard Hottie (Chris Evans), who just happens to live upstairs from the Xs. Worse, as she observes little Grayer's efforts to make sense of his disgruntled parents, Annie writes a "field diary," a too-cute way for the film to take her point of view, even when she misreads situations.

Linney's smart performance helps smooth over the film's frequent overstatements, but, for the most part, it's a very slightly dialed down version of The Devil Wears Prada, a book Annie happens to read on the beach -- so you're aware that the film is aware of its own borrowings. Perhaps most frustrating is the movie's focus on beleaguered women, which doesn't lead to any sense of "freedom" (despite the fact that George Michael's song by that name shows up on the soundtrack a couple of times). "I don't think that having money makes it any easier," Annie opines at last.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's main conflict: Why does Annie think Mrs. X is a bad parent? Do you agree with her? Why or why not? What makes someone a "good" or "bad" mom or dad? Is it different in real life than it is in movies and on TV shows? How? Do you think Mrs. X thinks she's a good mom? What is Annie's role in the X family? How does she see herself compared to how the Xs see her?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 23, 2007
DVD release date:December 4, 2007
Cast:Chris Evans, Laura Linney, Scarlett Johansson
Directors:Robert Pulcini, Shari Springer Berman
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language.

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byDexterSmith April 9, 2008
age 0+

Sweet dramedy may be too much for youngest children

Sexual Content (Pause): Grayer pulls down Annie's pants, revealing her thong, then says he's going to take his clothes off (with Harvard Hottie responding, "That's popular on this floor"). Annie takes Grayer to use the bathroom in his dad's office and finds him making out with another woman ("Why is Daddy tickling that lady?"), and he (Mr. X) later tries to seduct Annie. Annie shows a lot of cleavage throughout the film, especially in a Betsy Ross costume. Harvard Hottie's friends say that dating a nanny is "so porno". Violence (Not an Issue): Slapstick violence. Language (Pause): One use of "f*ck", a few uses of "s*it", "hell", "damn", and "ass" (2 used with "-hole"). Social Behavior (Off): Annie breaks many of the X's rules and lies to them (and her mother), Mr. X has an affair with another woman, Mr. and Mrs. X neglect Grayer (Mrs. X hires Annie despite being unemployed and having plenty of time to take care of him), Mr. and Mrs. X lie to each other. Commercialism (Pause): SpongeBob SquarePants, Cheerios. Drug/Alcohol/Tobacco (Pause): Social drinking, except for one instance where Annie deliberately gets drunk. A nanny smokes.
Kid, 12 years old August 28, 2010
age 10+

a good movie for those kids who dream or will have a Au Pair or Nanny!

The movie was wonderful. I believe the connection between Annie and mrs. X's son was highly touching, which i hope to find in a Nanny-Child relationship. However, there are a few upsetting problems. The relationship with the parents the child had disturbed me, cause the relationship was quite shallow and unemotional, making annie the only stable person in his life to look up to for help, and it made me angry that the mother was not contactable when the son got sick, leaving annie scared for his health and the only one to look after him. The father was a outrage, have a relationship when he already had a wife! Plus both parents show off their child like its the latest accessory in the city, and had thrown a complete cow when the son did not get into a highly expensive private primary school! But i believe Annie was a good role model and managed to sort the house hold back to order and getting the parents back to earth with their child.A wonderful movie and i hope my Au Pair (its a person who is of a nanny but has less responsibility than a nanny] is like annie because she is going to be our live-in au pair!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bykrazypanda45 May 23, 2009
age 12+
good for some. do not take sensitive children


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