The Nanny Diaries (film)

The Nanny Diaries
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Screenplay by
  • Robert Pulcini
  • Shari Springer Berman
Based on
Produced byRichard N. Gladstein
CinematographyTerry Stacey
Edited byRobert Pulcini
Music byMark Suozzo
Distributed by
Release date
  • August 24, 2007 (2007-08-24) (United States)
Running time
106 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$20 million
Box office$47.8 million[1]

The Nanny Diaries is a 2007 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, based on the 2002 novel of the same name by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, and Laura Linney, the film tells the story of a college graduate who goes to work as a nanny for a rich and wealthy family in New York City. Ensconced in their home, she has to juggle their dysfunction, a new romance, and the child in her charge.

The Nanny Diaries was released in the United States on August 24, 2007 by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and The Weinstein Company. It received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $47 million against a $20 million budget.


Twenty-one-year-old Annie Braddock (Scarlett Johansson) has just graduated from Montclair State University. She has no idea what or who she wants to be. One day, while sitting in the park, Annie sees a young boy (Nicholas Art) about to be hit by a vehicle. Annie saves him and meets the boy's mother, who we meet as Mrs. X (Laura Linney). When she introduces herself as "Annie", Mrs. X mistakes her words for "Nanny" and hires her to look after Grayer, the boy she saved (Mrs. X also continues to call her "Nanny" instead of "Annie" throughout the film). Annie lies to her mother Judy (Donna Murphy) about taking a job at a bank and, in reality, moves into the Xs' apartment to be the nanny for Grayer.

Life with the incredibly privileged Xs is not what she thought it would be, and her life is complicated further when she falls for "Harvard Hottie" (Chris Evans), who lives in the building. Interspersed with her life as the Xs' nanny are her interactions with "Harvard Hottie" as well as her longtime friend Lynette.

Annie continues to keep her mother in the dark about her real job, giving her regular but false progress reports. Further complications arise when Judy decides to visit her, forcing Annie to pretend Lynette (Alicia Keys) and her roommate Calvin (Nate Corddry) are a couple and that their apartment is Annie's apartment. Judy ultimately finds out the truth when Grayer becomes severely ill, and Annie desperately calls her for help.

After a rough start, Annie eventually bonds with Grayer, whom she addresses by his preferred code name, "Grover", and discovers that he is actually a sweet and loving child who is neglected by both his parents, which explains his uncontrollable behavior. Parallel to this, Annie begins to also notice that Grayer is not the only one being neglected: Mrs. X is as well, with Mr. X (Paul Giamatti) constantly being cruel to her and committing subtly obvious adultery. Mrs. X makes numerous attempts to make her husband love her, including lying to him about being pregnant with their second child. Annie soon realizes that Mrs. X's own cruel treatment of her is due to Mrs. X's growing frustrations from her dysfunctional marriage.

Things take a turn for the worse during a family trip with the X's to Nantucket. She overhears Mrs. X telling a friend during a party that she has installed a "nanny cam" at their home in the city and plans to fire Annie after viewing footage showing Annie lovingly tending to Grayer (with Mrs. X grossly exaggerating her findings from the "nanny cam"). The next morning, Mr. X sexually assaults Annie just as Mrs. X enters the kitchen. She unreasonably fires Annie and sends her back to the city with her final payment of just $40.

Flying into a rage, Annie finds the "nanny cam" in the X's house and records her feelings toward the Xs. Mrs. X brings the tape to the school meeting for the Upper East Side mothers. Thinking that the tape will show Annie feeding Grayer peanut butter and jelly straight from a jar, she requests the coordinator to play it for everyone to see. All other parents in the room hear as Annie reveals the real relationship between the Xs, in the process making Mrs. X come to terms with her own reality and false happiness.

Annie reconciles with her mother and continues to date "Harvard Hottie", whose real name is revealed to be Hayden. She is temporarily living with Lynette and Calvin, and pursuing her growing interest in anthropology, much of which she learned through her time as the Xs' nanny.

A few months later, Hayden hands Annie a letter from Mrs. X. Written in the letter is an apology and news about how Mrs. X left Mr. X, is raising Grayer alone and making stronger attempts to bond with him (and successfully doing so), and Grayer's overall improvement. She expresses her gratitude to Annie for waking her up and changing her life. Also in the letter, Mrs. X addresses Annie for the first time by her real name (instead of Nanny), and signs the letter with her own first name, Alexandra (instead of Mrs. X).



Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, 34% of 132 critics gave the film positive review, with an average rating of 5/10. The website's critics consensus reads: The Nanny Diaries' miscast lead and unrealistic, one-dimensional characters make this class satire far less effective than it should've been."[2] According to Metacritic, which calculated a weighted average score of 46 out of 100 based on 33 critics, the film received "mixed or average reviews".[3] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B−" on an A+ to F scale.[4]

Box office[edit]

The film was released in the United Kingdom on October 12, 2007.[5] The film debuted at #6 at the box office in the United States with $7.4 million in 2,629 theaters in its opening weekend.[6] It went on to gross $25.9 million domestically and $21.8 million overseas, for a total worldwide gross of $47.7 million against a $20 million budget.[1]


  1. ^ a b The Nanny Diaries (2007) - Weekend Box Office. Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ "The Nanny Diaries". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on April 19, 2012.
  3. ^ Nanny Diaries, The (2007): Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-09-01
  4. ^ "Find CinemaScore" (Type "Nanny Diaries" in the search box). CinemaScore. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  5. ^ "UK Weekend Box Office 12th October 2007 - 14th October 2007". Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  6. ^ Finke, Nikki (August 25, 2007). "Summer Box Office Sizzles To New Record, But This Weekend Cools: 'Superbad' #1; 'The Nanny Diaries' Bombs For Weinsteins".

External links[edit]