In the shadow of The Devil Wears Prada comes the equally enjoyable Nanny Diaries, another film based on a best-seller about working for a boss from hell. This time around, it's Scarlett Johannsen's turn to suffer, as she turns her nose up at a sensible career in banking to take a gig working as a nanny for a mega-rich family on Manhattan's ritzy Upper East Side.
Johansson plays Annie Braddock, a recent graduate from a working-class neighbourhood who is having a bit of an identity crisis. Her hard-working mother wants her to go into finance, but she's more fascinated by anthropology. So when a wealthy socialite (referred to simply as Mrs X) comes along offering a high-paying job as a child minder, Annie sees it as a chance to spend some time 'finding herself,' while observing the customs and mores of New York's wealthy elite.
"NOT JUST A PRADA KNOCK-OFF"
Laura Linney's clench-jawed performance somehow manages to imbue the uptight and self-absorbed Mrs X with a dose of humanity. She neglects her son in favour of shopping excursions and spa trips, and treats Annie as if she were just part of the furniture - but it's impossible not to sympathise as she watches her marriage to loathsome financier Mister X (Paul Giamatti) unravel, and sees her child (Nicholas Reese Art) become more attached to Johansson's nanny than to herself.
Like The Devil Wears Prada, this film's kicks come from watching the foibles and quirks of the uber-rich through an outsider's eyes, but the genuine sadness on display in the Nanny Diaries saves this film from being just a Prada knock-off.
The Nanny Diaries is out in the UK on 12th October 2007.