Molly Gunn is the spoiled, freewheeling daughter of a late rock legend and the toast of the Manhattan social scene. However, after hitting a huge financial snag, when her inheritance is stolen by her manager, Molly is forced to do something that she's never done before--get a job. Molly becomes a nanny to a notoriously precocious and disobedient Ray Schleine, an "eight-year-old going on forty" who lives with her mother on the Upper East Side. Emotionally distant from her fast-paced A&R executive mother Roma, Ray has grown up with a revolving door of nannies and too little stability. Molly and Ray both feel painfully alone in the world, but as they try to make their new arrangement work, each discovers in the other a true friend.
This rhinestone-crusted comic fantasy is true to its niche market, the burgeoning Junior Miss genre that might be called Princess because of its fawning adoration of overprivileged young bachelorettes and the luxuries their credit cards can fetch. Its bratty 22-year-old heroine (a charmless Brittany Murphy) is the orphaned daughter of rock royalty who lives in Manhattan in palatial squalor with her pet pig, Moo. In this standard variation of the princess myth, it takes a humbling fall from grace for Molly to gain a smidgen of soul and a glimpse of happily ever after. Forced to work as a nanny, she achieves a saccharine redemption with the help of her charge, a stern, orderly 8-year-old girl (Dakota Fanning), whom she in turn helps softed. While pretending to teach a lesson in compassion, the movie wallows in the perks of privilege. — Stephen Holden
2003-08-15 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of Uptown Girls