Last night, I turned over to the Lifetime Movie Network and I watched Devious Nanny!
Why Was I Watching It?
I’ve got a long history with Lifetime nanny films. I’ve watched films about Bad Nannys, Betrayed Nannys, Nightmare Nannys, Evil Nannys, Killer Nannys, and Dangerous Nannys. So, how could I resist something called Devious Nanny?
(Actually, it was apparently also called both The Nanny Betrayal and The Au Pair. Devious Nanny, though is an improvement on both of those.)
What Was It About?
Elise (Michelle Borth) and Brian (Antonio Cupo) have it all. Elise works at an art gallery. Brian works in … well, I think it was advertising but I could be wrong. All I know is that he worked in an office and he was worried about landing a big account and he wore a suit to work. Isn’t that what they do in advertising? Anyway, it’s a good job. Brian and Elise have a nice house and an adorable son. All they need to complete the picture is … an au pair!
Enter Amber (Olesya Rulin), who appears to be the perfect nanny. She loves kids and she’s even okay with cleaning up around the house! Of course, Amber did lie a little to get her job. And she didn’t tell her new employers that she grew up in the foster system and that she has a history of mental instability. Soon, Brian and Amber are exchanging lustful glances and people are turning up dead.
But here’s the thing. I’ve seen enough killer nanny films that I immediately realized that it was probably significant that the film never actually showed Amber killing anyone. So, is Amber the murderer or is it someone else? The film is full of suspects!
It all worked. This was the type of Lifetime movie that made me fall in love with the unique Lifetime aesthetic in the first place. Well-acted and full of snarky lines, Devious Nanny also featured a rather clever last-minute plot twist. The end of the film also features a line of dialogue that is perhaps the coldest sentiment over to be offered up in a Lifetime film.
Needless to say, this was a fun movie to live tweet. Those of us on twitter last night had a blast trying to figure out who the killer was and who was going to be the next victim.
All in all, it was a very entertaining movie.
What Did Not Work?
It all worked! At first, I was worried that the film would turn out to be just another Lifetime Nanny film but the script, by Adam Rockoff, was full of unexpected plot twists. I’m going to guess that Rockoff has seen enough nanny films that he knew exactly what most people would be expecting and he very skillfully manipulated those expectations.
In fact, my only issue is that Lifetime aired this on Friday night and it didn’t really seem like they made much of an effort to publicize it. Sometimes, I think Lifetime doesn’t truly understand just how many people love watching their movies. They’ll promote the Hell out of some forgettable (and often regrettable) celebrity biopic but entertaining thrillers, like this one, rarely get the fanfare that they deserve.
“Oh my God! Just like me!” Moments
I’ve been lucky, in that I’ve never had to work as an au pair. I’ve also never been suspected of murder. I guess I’ve just lived a sheltered life. However, if any of that did happen to me, I would hope, when it was all over, that I could be as snarky about it as Amber.
Life’s not easy when you’re a nanny.