By Clint Morris
Remember “Adventures in Babysitting”, that divine little ’80s romp from Touchstone (oh you lengthy razzle dazzle, you; Touchstone was always promised glee) that offered Karate Kid’s Girlfriend Elisabeth Shue a chance to flaunt her headline act of a sweet 17 year-old that, instead of going on a hot date with her bad-news boyfriend, ends up babysitting a bunch of youngsters? You’ll recall the film ultimately spews up an “After Hours” soup, as Shue and her charges head into the city and spend the night there embroiled in a seriously dangerous but delightfully audience friendly time.
Several years ago it was announced Disney was planning to remake that movie – with teeny TV fave Raven Symone – and minutes after there were reports of a natural disaster. But those weren’t broken riverbanks flowing into town, they were the tears of 80s movie fans, hurting at the prospect of witnessing such a travesty.
The good news is, the Raven Symone starring Disney do-over didn’t and won’t happen. The bad news is, “Pineapple Express” filmmaker David Gordon Green caught “Adventures in Babysiting” one night while sweating off a bender.
“The Sitter” stinks of a bad drunken decision; a movie conceived and greenlit by those out of their minds.
“Lets remake Adventures in Babysitting – only with sex, drugs and bad racial stereotypes!”
Yeah, how’s that for an unrefrigerated cheese-stick!? Not only is it something you don’t want packed into the kids lunchbox (as opposed to “Adventures in Babysitting” which is, sans the odd naughty word, reasonably family-friendly) but it snaps in half, exposing it’s mouldly, unappealing interior, within minutes.
Jonah Hill, the portly sidekick funnyman who rose to fame in Judd Apatow fare like “Knocked Up” and “Superbad”, graduates to leading portly funyman as.. Well, Elisabeth Shue’s character.
As a favour to his mother, the hapless (Hill), a young man so unappealing not even his girlfriend will go down on him (opening joke revolves around the girl making up an excuse so she doesn’t have to “make mouth love” to him, despite just getting a downstairs bath herself), ends up spending the night taking care of a bunch of snotty kids, who join him on an impulsive dash trip to the city.
Unlike “Adventures in Babysitting”, these kids aren’t at all likeable though nor cute nor realistic, they’re foul-mouthed, pain-inflicting cartoons. And the whole purpose of heading into the City is driven by a ridiculous drugs and sex strategm that won’t resonate or entice anyone.
Green, making a name for himself as the go-to man for pot and phunny movies (”The Pineapple Express”, ”Your Highness”), spends more time tweaking the cocaine gags and splicing in sex jokes than he does fleshing any of the characters out or even attempting to get the audience to side or relate to a couple. He seems to think the movie will get by on smutty humour and Jonah Hill’s race to the swear jar, but it’s likely you too will have had enough by the time the gang gets to the city. As the minutes tick, “The Sitter” gets shitter.