It’s hard for me to believe that I enjoyed this movie. It’s clearly a children’s (ahem, I mean “family”) film. A single father needs to find a wife so that his seven, very badly behaved children can remain together. Helping out is the magical Nanny McPhee, whose special tactics not only keep the children in line, but teach them the importance of manners and respect. How could I possibly enjoy a movie like this? They’re teaching etiquette for goodness sakes! There is a babysitter with witch-like power involved. This movie should not be anything I even like.
How did this come to be? Start off with Colin Firth (oh, he’s so dreamy) as Cedric Brown, the likable father trying to keep his family from falling apart. He even keeps his dead wife in the loop by looking to her memory for advice. Emma Thompson is the titular Nanny McPhee, and why the hell not, throw in Angela Lansbury as the evil Great Aunt Adelaide who is trying to split up the family. Their performances, while might not be the greatest of their lives at a critical level, are appropriate for this movie. They bring an air of fairy tale charm that helps to raise my appreciation for what might be an otherwise no enjoyable flick. The children’s acting is acceptable, but you can’t really expect too much from them, because, after all, they’re still just children. But still, totally acceptable.
Just because something is a family movie, it doesn’t mean you should rule it out. You should give this one a shot, I know I don’t regret it.