Monday, January 3, 2011


i like scarlett johansson. ever since her 2003 movie, lost in translation, i've kind of followed her career's trajectory due to her immense talent, her vavavoom figure and lips that could spell disaster... good disaster if you may.

in 2007, she took on the role of annie braddock in
the nanny diaries. at first, i thought this would just be one of those cheesy romcoms that do not intend to make any statement but provide just enough dose of entertainment. i was wrong. this one wanted to make a statement out of the usual romcom material. but failed to do so, at least to me.

annie has just finished college and did not have any clue on what she really wanted to do in life. and as
wikipedia puts it, "while sitting in the park, she sees a young boy in a uniform almost getting run over. annie saves him and then the boy's mother, mrs. alexandra x (laura linney), mistakes annie for a nanny. She gives her a card and annie decides to lie to her family about taking a job at a bank and, in reality, move in with the x's to be the nanny for grayer, the boy she saved. life with the incredibly privileged x's isn't all she thought it would be, and her life is complicated further when she falls for "harvard hottie" (chris evans), who lives in the building."

while there may be hot nannies in real life, it is highly unlikely that a young woman, hot the scarjo way, would be mistaken as a nanny, especially as people already have a typical, often discriminatory, image of a nanny. in this case, the nanny would usually be an asian or latina, can be a middle aged woman or a really young one... neither of which scarjo would fall into. so she was definitely miscast as annie. not that she didn't do justice to the role (she's no jennifer love hewitt!), she definitely put the effort to act the part out. laura linney was her usual able and reliable actress... icy, bitchy and vulnerable at the same time.

at the center of the movie is its aim of mixing satirical comments about how high-strung housewives in new york (or any of those cosmopolitan cities), married to the big moneyed men of the concrete financial jungle, juggle life of luxury but dealing with unblissful domestic life and woes of having to deal with a man who provides everything but does not care a thing about family, wife and kids. in the process of hoping to maintain her social stature and dealing with a philandering husband, the care and emotional welfare of the kids are left to nannies who altogether have different set of values as well. contrast this with a young woman, at the crossroad of her life in her early twenties, who has all the chance to make good choices and avoid becoming another mrs. x, who can buy everything at whim but inside is left empty by a series of woeful experiences. highly predictable, mrs. x eventually learned that her biggest role in life is to be a good mom, while annie reconciled with the harvard hottie.