Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Nanny Diaries

"Are you interested in watching The Nanny Diaries,?" she asked. Mrs. Film Geek was waiving the red envelope in her hand.

"I dunno, it's kinda late."

Although we typically stay up late most nights, starting a flick at 11pm seemed a little past reasonable.

"It stars Scarlett Johansson." And she said it with enthusiasm. Like, "Jo-haaann-sonnn."

I started up the stairs: "Put the disc in, and I'll pop some corn!"

(OK, so maybe it didn't go down exactly that way. Except in my head. But it kinda did.


The Nanny Diaries is better than average satire of how, too often in America, we have other people raising our kids. The film particularly targets those who are incredibly wealthy and who, due to wealth and a selfish perspective, devote more of their time to societal events and business than to their own children.

Got a kid with a fever and a 2pm spa treatment scheduled? The Nanny can make the doctor run. Conflicted between taking your kid to the park and helping plan a charitable event? Put the park on your Nanny's To Do List.

Figuring out ways to get kids out from under the feet of adults isn't inherently evil, nor is it done only by the wealthy. Lots of us from the 70s recall being shooed out of our homes each Saturday after Land Of The Lost, allowed back in only to eat a quick PB & J and then shooed back out again until dinner time.

Sure, playing outside was fun and a terrific way to learn how to make friends. But each of us knows our parents enjoyed that respite, too.

There is something disconcerting, though, about people who are so self-involved that their children are merely afterthoughts. Simply another thing that requires scheduling, and the need to employ another human being to provide the nurturing for which we don't have time.

Disconcerting, and sad. Because that perpetuates a cycle of human perspective that's hard to change.


Buzzardbilly said...

I thought the movie was going to be a lot more fun than it was.

Mom and Dad used to do their weekend "shooing the kids out" on Sundays. They made my sister and I walk to the nearest church (which was a no hair cutting, no pants wearing, no make up, speaking in tongues, just one step this side of snake-handling kind of church) while they stayed home.

As a result, I only go to church if someone's getting married or buried.

iremonger said...

Read and liked the book, haven't heard good things about the movie till now. Likes me some Scarlett so I'll get around to it eventually.

The Film Geek said...

Better than average, but not really good film. It hits the points well, but probably focuses on the love life of Johansson's character too much. It was better than expected. A couple neat visual props to Mary Poppins