Keeping with the babysitting movie theme for Theme Night, The Sitter was next after Adventures In Babysitting.
This flick is absolutely hilarious and completely inappropriate. Noah (Jonah Hill) agrees to a babysitting job so his divorced mother can still go out on her blind date. When he arrives, he finds some of the strangest kids around. Slater (Max Records), a young kid with some serious anxiety issues, Blithe (Landry Bender), a nine year old obsessed with being a celebutante, and Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez), a recently adopted boy who can’t stop blowing things up with fireworks. When Noah’s girlfriend demands he get her some drugs and meet her at a party, he reluctantly agrees, taking the kids on a dangerous adventure where everyone will learn a little about themselves.
I was actually surprised to find that this film is full of those sweet little moments where a character learns an important lesson. My expectations were for a non-stop, inappropriate, and raunchy comedy. There’s plenty of that in there as well, but each one of the kids in the movie ends up learning a lesson, which was an interesting kind of twist. In the same way that Adventures In Babysitting carried a bit of the ’80s as well as the ’90s, The Sitter manages to be very current in terms of edgy comedy while still having the life lesson charm of an ’80s film. It’s nice to see a film like this have some cute moments in it, but it doesn’t hurt that it’s insanely funny as well.
Sam Rockwell totally steals the show as the very odd drug dealer Karl. His office is in a warehouse that is full of body builders wearing revealing clothing, performing photo shoots, exercising, and making drugs. When he first meets Noah, he decides that they should be friends and names Noah his eighth best friend, then he wants a hug. When Karl finds out that one of the kids has made off with an egg full of drugs, he begins hunting Noah down, demanding his money and reminding Noah that he shot his second best friend in the foot for not listening to him. Imagine what he’ll do to his eighth best friend who stole from him? It’s such an odd role and Rockwell plays it perfectly. You never know what to expect from Karl. Is he going to give you a hug, or shoot you? With all his strange quirks, his character had me laughing every time he was onscreen.
The kids in the movie also do a fantastic job, with Landry Bender doing particularly well as Blithe. She keeps painting more makeup on her face throughout the movie, wondering when they’re going to hit the clubs. It’s hilarious, and a bit sad at the same time, because it really isn’t that far off from some kids now. Max Records does very well with his role as Slater. He keeps claiming that he has anxiety problems, but it slowly becomes apparent that something else is going on. Records plays it just right, revealing his secret piece by piece so it feels very natural when his character finally accepts what is going on.
The comedy rarely lets up in this one, which puts Jonah Hill in some of my favorite comedies lately, including Get Him To The Greek. His reactions to the kids in The Sitter manage to strike a chord with me since I actually have kids. Of course, Noah says things that most parents would never say, but any parent would be lying if they didn’t think some of them once and a while. Although he doesn’t necessarily treat them nicely all the time, it’s obvious that Noah is concerned with the kids, even trying to help them become better people by the end. You really can’t go wrong with The Sitter. It’s consistently funny, something that can be hard to find, and it still manages to have a few messages in there. If you have to babysit some time soon, I suggest throwing this one when the younger ones have gone to bed.
Under the marquee – Will