Real experience gets played as farce and then replayed as soap opera in The Nanny Diaries, which wants to be a "you'll laugh, you'll cry" kind of movie but is more like "you'll snicker, you'll doze."
The heroine, Annie Braddock (Scarlett Johansson), is a would-be anthropologist who initially fantasizes that she can be a real-life Mary Poppins to a tyke named Grayer (Nicholas Art). His parents, cleverly referred to only as Mr. and Mrs. X (Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney), get caught up in a marital Armageddon and leave all the child care to Annie.
The Nanny Diaries (The Weinstein Co.) Starring Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney, Paul Giamatti. Directed by Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini. Rated PG-13. Time 107 minutes.