The Sitter Makes You Want to Stay Home
- Friday, December 09, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: December 9, 2011
Rating: R (for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material and some violence)
Run Time: 80 min.
Director: David Gordon Green
Actors: Jonah Hill, Max Records, Landry Bender, Kevin Hernandez, Sam Rockwell, Kylie Bunbury, Ari Graynor
CAUTION: This review includes references to explicit content.
What has happened to David Gordon Green? Through most of the 2000s he made sensitive art house movies like George Washington, All the Real Girls, Undertow and Snow Angels. But then he went in a radically different, more commercial direction. His choice of genre? Stoner comedies like Pineapple Express and Your Highness.
Green continues to go after the lowest-common denominator with The Sitter, a bawdy comedy that takes the premise of 1987’s Adventures in Babysitting, adds lots of raunch and puts Jonah Hill rather than Babysitting’s Elizabeth Shue in the starring role. For those who care to stick it out, there’s a message about marital faithfulness and the pain caused by infidelity, but let’s not kid ourselves: The film is not out to deliver any moral to its story. It’s a story involving sex, drugs and young kids that refuses to make any judgments about the behavior of its main character.
We meet that character, Noah (Jonah Hill, Moneyball), in the first scene, as he engages in oral sex with his girlfriend, Marisa (Ari Graynor, Conviction). She’s using him for sexual pleasure, and for other pleasures as well. He balks when his single mom asks him to watch her friends’ children so the adults can have a long-planned night out on the town. “I’m not Mary Poppins” says Noah, who shows no interest in landing a regular job and who has a checkered history of run-ins with the law. But knowing the evening might lead to a date and potential relationship for his mom, he shows up at the friends’ house to babysit.
Each of the three kids he’s given charge of for the evening has issues. The youngest, Blithe, has a fixation with painting her face in heavy makeup, and at one key moment, she reveals a lack of control over basic bodily functions. Older brother Slater, who takes pills for severe anxiety, has no idea how to respond to the twin girls who invite him, along with other “cute” boys, to a party. He’s more interested in his longtime male buddy, who’s making excuses not to spend time with him. Then there’s Rodrigo, a third sibling who’s recently been adopted from Central America and who, it turns out, has a destructive streak. As soon as his parents leave for the night, Rodrigo puts Noah to the test, shattering bottles of liquor on the floor and breaking the family’s vases.
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