For the right price, Judge Clark Douglas will be your Christmas Nanny.
Sometimes great gifts come in unexpected packages.
Sometimes, a film comes along that is so genuinely insufferable that it simply can't be analyzed objectively. Instead, permit me to provide you with a condensed version of the screenplay, in order that you might judge for yourself whether you can tolerate what A Nanny for Christmas has to offer.
Ad Executive Ally Leeds (Emmanuelle Vaugier, CSI: NY): So you want to sell your chocolates, eh? Here's the pitch: chocolates accompany all the important events in life. Valentine's day. The birth of a child. A wedding.
Chocolate Executive Danny Donner (Dean Cain, Lois and Clark): Wedding? WEDDING?! How dare you mention weddings! My bride ran away at the altar! I'm leaving!
Ally's Boss: Ally, you're fired. Good luck finding another job.
Ally: I guess I'll try to get a job at this other ad agency.
Ad Executive Samantha Ryland (Cynthia Gibb, Salvador): Hey, Ally. I hear you need a job. You have good references. You're hired.
Ally: Really? Just like that? Awesome!
Samantha: Yep, you're going to be my new nanny.
Ally: Wait, what? Um, okay. I'll go along with that.
Samantha: My young children are very well-behaved. They read Shakespeare every day, practice yoga regularly, and eat only healthy food. They follow a rigid set of rules. You will follow the rules. Do not break the rules under any circumstances.
Ally: M'kay, I'll do that. Wait, what am I saying? I don't like rules. These children need to have fun. I'm just going to break all of the rules one by one until I've turned these children into the sort of kids I think they ought to be. Wanna have some fun, kids?
Kids: What is fun? We don't know about fun. Shouldn't we be reading Shakespeare?
Ally: Nah, Shakespeare sucks. Let's have some ice cream!
Random Businessman Justin Larose (Richard Ruccolo, Rita Rocks): Hey there, pretty lady. 'Sup?
Ally: I'm not a nanny, I'm an executive at the company you work for. Date me. Date me now.
Justin: What? I can't do that. You're my co-worker. Against company policy and all that. Let's be friends.
Justin: Kiss me.
Ally: Darn it! I guess I'm going to have to tell him the truth about my being a nanny and all. Why did I make up that lie again?
Samantha: You're doing a really good job being a nanny, following those rules and all. The kids seem to like you.
Ally: Can I be a part of your sales team?
Samantha: No you may not. I don't mix my work and my personal life.
Justin: Ally, you're the perfect woman.
Ally: Yeah…I'm definitely not a nanny. No, sir.
Justin: Hey, I'm about to make a sales pitch to this guy Danny Donner.
Ally: Really? I can give you the perfect sales pitch.
Justin: I'll definitely use it.
(Justin uses the sales pitch.)
Danny: I like it. Good job.
Ally: I'm frustrated. I'm a nanny, but I don't want to be a nanny. I'm working really hard to make sure Samantha doesn't find out I'm breaking all the rules. I'm forced to hide the fact that I'm a nanny from Justin. I just gave Justin my best sales pitch and he used it to win an account. I want credit, but I can't take it! Why is my life such a mess?
Samantha: Ally, I've discovered everything. You're fired.
Justin: Ally, I've discovered everything. We're breaking up.
(Insert happy flashback montage.)
(Insert current sadness montage.)
Kids: We're so sad. We miss our nanny. Why did mommy have to fire her? Mommy sucks.
Samantha: I'm a terrible mother. What have I done? Ally, you can have your job back. Actually, you can have a job as an ad executive. Also, thank you for breaking all my rules. They needed to be broken and I needed to learn to loosen up.
Justin: I'm a terrible boyfriend. What have I done? Ally, you can have me back, too.
Mr. Ryland: Hey everybody! I haven't really been around, but I'm here now! And I've brought a puppy with me! Merry Christmas! Yay for puppies!
(Cue a horrible song about children, chocolate, nannies and Santa Claus.)
I realize one man's agonizing torment is another man's entertaining lark, but I really found A Nanny for Christmas a pretty wretched viewing experience. Poor performances, absurd character behavior and horrible-written dialogue join forces to create a miserable 88 minutes.
The DVD transfer is perfectly acceptable, with fine detail and considerable depth. Audio is solid as well, getting the job done without drawing much attention to itself (save for a couple of awkwardly-placed sound effects). Extras include an audio commentary with numerous members of the cast and crew and a theatrical trailer.
Guilty of being an uninspired dose of forced cheer.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
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