Nanny McPhee

Bomb Rating: 

This happens to me a lot. Tell me if it happens to you. I saw this movie in a 400-seat theater. When I entered the theater, there were three other people there and they went up to the top row. I sat more toward the front, leaving a good 200 seats between us - exactly the way it should be. So I'm sitting there waiting for the movie to start and in come two people who look around the theater before deciding where to sit. Guess where they sit. That's right, right behind me. Of all the places they could sit, they had to sit right behind me.Happens all the time. Fortunately, I was gassy.

This was only the beginning of the bad things that happened. The next bad thing was that the movie started. I was then treated to 90 minutes of bad scoring, bad costuming and bad set design. Never have I seen three things movies could basically do without so dramatically ruin a film. Music, of course, frequently ruins a film, so that was no surprise and neither was the deafening score of "Nanny McPhee." However, the clothing of virtually every character stuck out in ways that costumes shouldn't. Worse was the set design, which looked like the child actors puked rainbow sherbet all over the place. Half the time I'd be watching the film thinking to myself: "No wonder Cedric Brown (Colin Firth) can't find a wife. The walls of his house are lime green."

"Nanny McPhee" is "Harry Potter" meets "Big Momma's House 2." And although Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) is a woman, she could easily have been a man, because she's covered with a foot-thick layer of makeup. Basically, Nanny McPhee shows up to teach Brown's seven children how to behave since they've run off every other nanny. She uses a mixture of magic and patience to teach them five lessons, which confounds them quite quickly and brings them in line. With each lesson, Nanny McPhee loses a wart or some other nasty feature and by the end of the film, the grotesque, overweight nanny has turned into Emma Thompson. Either this was some metaphor I didn't understand or the makeup budget was running out.

In order to keep his kids and his house, Cedric must please his Great Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury) and get married again. From the first five minutes, it's completely obvious the bride will be one of his housekeepers, Evangeline (Kelly Macdonald), because she's hot and the only female character in the film he could marry. Oh, the film does some pointless plot dancing, offering up the possibility of Selma Quickly (Celia Imrie), but the audience just waits for Evangeline to turn up at the right time to seal the deal, which she does, right on cue.

"Nanny McPhee" is like a two-hour time-out.

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