Pleasantly surprised, it is one of those rare feelings you get when you watch a TV movie and didn't find it laughable but it is the feeling I got when I watched "A Nanny's Secret". Now in fairness "A Nanny's Secret" is not something amazing, here we have a rather standard thriller where we have a robbery which turns to tragedy and we have to work out who the masked robber was. In fact with it being a TV movie there are also some of the usual issues which befall the thriller genre when done on the small screen, most notably over emphasizing the clues whilst relying on cliches such as the ending which ends up in a standard chase scene. But not only does director Douglas Jackson pace the movie nicely it does throw up 4 possibilities when it comes to who the robber is and in doing so manages to keep us wondering even when you have a feeling you know who did it.
Claudia (Haylie Duff) works for the Tyrell's as a nanny to their young son and she is treated like one of the family. But one night when the house is robbed and a member of the family is murdered the Tyrell's are furious because Claudia tried to hide the fact her troublesome brother Carter (Dillon Casey) had shown up the day before. With everyone suspecting that Carter was the robber Claudia believes he is innocent but realises who ever robbed the home not only knew it inside but also knew her routine which leads her to suspect that maybe her boyfriend Drew (Eric Johnson - Honeymoon with Mom) was involved.
So for the first 20 minutes "A Nanny's Secret" typically sets the scene as we meet Claudia who works as a nanny is seeing the handsome Drew who shares a house with Jace and she has a brother Carter who has a habit of being in trouble with the law as well as a drug dealer he owes money to. But this opening sets up the possibilities and does a clever job of leading us to the actual robbery of the Tyrell family as there are several important facts which make it interesting. But the most important fact is that when the robbery struck Claudia and Aiden the boy she looks after were not meant to be there which leads us to think that whoever robbed the place knew this.
So this basically sets up the story which is Claudia initially wondering whether her brother Carter was the robber because the day before he had shown up desperate for money and left angry a fact witnessed by a neighbour. But there is also the possibility that maybe drug dealer Tim was behind this as his lady friend was following Carter and wanted his money back. Of course there is also the possibility that maybe Drew could have done it because we learn that he has a secret he is keeping from Claudia and asked Jace to provide him with an alibi for when the robbery happened. But wait there is also Jace as well because when he is asked to provide Drew with an alibi he seems shocked and ill at ease.
You may think I have told you quite a bit but really I haven't and it's because we have these possibilities it remains an entertaining thriller which does its best to keep us guessing. Except there is one problem and that is director Douglas Jackson over emphasizes the clue dropping, spoon feeding us the important information in a forced way. And it is because of this force feeding of information that it raises our suspicions too much when it comes to one of these possibilities, we are still left wondering but unfortunately if you were betting on who did it everyone would lay their money on this one person. The nice thing is because it becomes obvious to everyone that who ever did the robbery knew Claudia's routine that they suspect her connection especially when she tries to keep Carter's visit a secret from everyone.
Aside from the force feeding of clues "A Nanny's Secret" does have some other routine issues none more so than the ending seems such a cliche with a chase scene. It's basically unimaginative and rather limp with no little drama and a reliance on Haylie Duff looking hot as she runs through a workshop whilst also trying to look frightened. Talking of Duff there is something very natural about Haylie Duff which makes it seem all very effortless flicking from moments of pleasantness to drama with such smoothness. And to be honest it is Haylie Duff who you will remember from watching "A Nanny's Secret" because whilst the likes of Eric Johnson and Dillon Casey are solid their characters are strangely forgettable.
What this all boils down to is that "A Nanny's Secret" is a pleasant surprise, not because it is some amazing thriller but because it has a nice energy about it and manages to deliver a reasonably clever take on a rather ordinary who done it storyline.