When the decision to watch Adventures In Babysitting came up, I realized that there was room for an idea here. So this begins Theme Night around The Film Reel. Maybe once a month I’ll do this, but for the first time, I’m going with the theme of babysitting movies. First up is Adventures In Babysitting.
I’ve always enjoyed this film, and I’m sure that Elisabeth Shue had a lot to do with that when I was younger. I remember being a young kid and having a crush on this babysitter I had, much like the character Brad (Keith Coogan) in the film. Of course, Brad had a much better chance than I did! The film doesn’t quite hold up to a viewing over 20 years later, but it still has enough charm to entertain.
In case you haven’t seen this one, Adventures In Babysitting stars Elisabeth Shue as Chris Parker. When her date cancels on her, she reluctantly agrees to a babysitting job. She’s prepared for an evening of boredom watching Sara (Maia Brewton), a little girl who is obsessed with the comic character Thor, and her older brother Brad (Keith Coogan), who happens to be madly in love with Chris. When Chris’ friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller) calls and tells Chris that she’s run away from home and is stuck at the bus station, it’s up to Chris and the kids to head from the suburbs to the city and save her. Along for the ride is Brad’s annoying friend Daryl (Anthony Rapp), who threatens to rat them out if they don’t let him come.
Most of the fun starts when the gang hits the city. It all begins with a flat tire on the highway and ends up with the kids being chased by a ring of car thieves. In between, they have to deal with a creepy tow truck driver with a hook for a hand, almost losing their car, and having to escape from a warehouse where the car thieves run their chop shop. They also get caught in a gang fight on the subway, and Chris finds her boyfriend on a date with another girl. It’s a night where things couldn’t get any worse, and the results are hilarious. Sure, things aren’t quite as funny as they used to be, especially since the humour is rather tame, even for 1987. It still has its moments though, a standout being the fact that numerous characters in the film believe that Chris is Miss March in the latest Playboy.
Directed by Chris Columbus, you can start to see some of his later films in here, especially Home Alone. The kids who manage to outsmart the bad guys at every turn which is very similar to Kevin in the Home Alone series. There’s also the fact that the kids judge a person for their appearance until they realize that the person is a nice guy. Kevin had the old man across the street, and the kids in this film have the one handed tow truck driver, Handsome John Pruitt (John Ford Noonan) who isn’t exactly handsome at all. If the film is lacking anything, it would be a bit more slapstick. Although we do get to see Elisabeth Shue dance and sing the blues. That alone is worth it.
Under the marquee – Will