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I was inspired to review The Nightmare Nanny in honor of my favorite new blog, Musings on Half-Watched Lifetime Movies. MoHWLM recaps/reviews hilariously awful Lifetime movies until they become too boring to finish. Brilliant, right?

I half-watched The Nightmare Nanny a few weeks ago. It’s a standard evil babysitter movie so naturally it opens with a flashback: A young expectant couple is driving along a deserted highway in the middle of the night. They’re all aglow until – BAM – a gruesome car accident puts an end to their nuclear family dreams.

Flash forward to a few years later and we’re meeting another family — a pair of hyper-yuppies with a precocious little girl.

Things aren’t going so well at the office for dad, so stay-at-home Yuppie Mom is contemplating a return to work.

Yuppie Mom is our protagonist. We, the viewers, are expected to relate to a 100-pound woman who:

  • lives in a house that looks like this:

  • is grappling with whether or not to return to work at a high-profile, high-salaried job where she is appreciated and valued
  • complains about having to spend a day interviewing private nannies, then makes a frustrated bitchface the entire time

Enter the eponymous Nightmare Nanny. NN is (natch) the girl from the flashback and (guess what??) she’s a psychopath!

In summary, Yuppie Mom = protagonist, Nightmare Nanny = villain.

This would all make sense except for the fact that Nightmare Nanny is kind of totally awesome. She’s patient, warm, and makes delicious home-cooked meals. Unlike Yuppie Mom, she smiles a lot and actually seems to enjoy playing games and doing kid stuff. Even Yuppie Dad thinks she’s great.

Sure, she has a tendency to freak out a little (cue creepy string part)...

But she has lasagna on the table when you get home. How bad can she be?

I fell asleep somewhere around the part where NN kidnaps the precocious little girl. An online recap confirmed that the ending follows the standard evil babysitter plotline: Yuppie Mom figures the whole thing out after meeting with some useless cops. Then NN goes on the lam with the daughter in tow, a chase ensures, there’s a tearful confrontation, and yadda yadda yadda… NN commits suicide and the yuppie family reunites.

I’m liking this half-watching thing. It’s like taking just one bite out of a stack of pancakes. Do you really need any more than that?

Other Notes: I absolutely could not believe that this was a new Lifetime movie. I STILL can’t believe it. Everything (well, except the cell phones and stuff) is 80-90s Lifetime, right down to the lead’s horrible pixie cut and power corporate job. I know I always say LMs look out-of-date because they’re produced in Canada (the wayback machine for clothing and hair trends), but this one left me speechless. A pixie cut! Dear god.