Monday, June 6, 2011

Nanny McPhee Returns

It's always seems odd to see a kids' movie promoted on the Daily Show. Sure, I know that parents must make up some of the show's audience, but to me, it seems like such a college program. (Though that's probably because I started watching it in college). I have a hard time reviewing movies for kids, because-- I hate to admit it-- I've become a children's movie snob. I still love watching favorites from my childhood, even the bad ones since nostalgia makes up for a weak story and bad acting. My favorite movie of all time is a children's movie (Pixar's Up). I actually watch children's movies and read children's books all the time. But when a movie comes out that doesn't have the nostalgia of The Wiz or the heart and strong story of Up (or practically anything else by Pixar), I'm critical. I can't watch it from a child's point of view.

All that being said, Nanny McPhee Returns was better than I expected. But I didn't expect much. The basic storyline: Isabel (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is a young mother, looking after three children and struggling to keep up the family farm while her husband is at war. It's tough enough making ends meet, and when two spoiled cousins are thrown into the mix, causing all five children start behaving badly, Isabel is pushed to her wits end. Enter Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) who, using magic, teaches these children five lessons.

Sound like a mix between Mary Poppins and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle? It is. Though I'd recommend reading those books (or watching the Poppins movie) rather than picking up a copy of Nanny McPhee Returns. Though there were moments when the movie had the wonderful feel of a storybook brought to life (similar to the tone of the fabulous show Pushing Daisies), they were fleeting. The acting was fine, but the story just didn't do it for me. And enough with the bodily function jokes already. I know kids love 'em, but kids will laugh at other kinds of jokes, too.

Nanny McPhee Returns gets a 2/5. It wasn't awful, but I won't watch it again, either.

1 comment:

  1. You make a good point about how weird it is to promote movies like this on The Daily Show. I think the appeal of the show extends way beyond college age, but probably not too far before it. In a way, it always seems to break the format of the show when a celebrity guest is on, but especially when the product their plugging is so far removed from the show's more adult subject matter.