The Nanny Diaries

Rated 2.0

At loose ends after graduating from college, a young woman (Scarlett Johansson) impulsively takes a job as nanny for a wealthy Manhattan socialite (Laura Linney)—after all, how hard can it be, right? Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (who both wrote and directed together) base their film on the novel by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus (former nannies who must have had a score to settle). It’s an acerbic update of Mary Poppins (references to which abound), but with no songs, no fun, and too many cardboard, inconsistent characters—even the kid (Nicholas Reese Art) is a monster one minute, a little darling the next, depending on which way Berman and Pulcini want to yank our chains. On the upside, we get a closeup of Johansson’s panties, which should be worth the price of admission for many.