Posts Tagged ‘The Sitter’


Jonah-Hill-The-SitterYou’re first clue that “The Sitter” isn’t “Mary Popins” is star Jonah Hill’s name above the title. Hill, the star of “Get Him to the Greek,” “Superbad” and “Funny People,” is no Julie Andrews. The second clue comes in the first thirty seconds of the movie, which cannot be described in this family friendly place without me blushing and turning beet red.

Hill plays Noah Griffith, a university drop out and general coach potato, roped in to babysitting for the neighbor’s kids. Even though he tells the kids– ten-year-old celebutant wannabe Blithe (Landry Bender), troublemaker Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez) and anxiety ridden Slater (Max Records)—he’s a “sit on the coach, at a burrito, do what I say or I’ll kill you, kind of babysitter” he takes the kids on a “field trip” to buy cocaine for a girl he has a crush on. Their night out involves accusations of pedophilia, cherry bombs, a baby dinosaur egg filled with drugs, stolen cars, a theft at a Bat Mitzvah and, in the end, like “Mary Poppins” a greater understanding of the importance of family.


That’s right, “The Sitter” is actually a bit more like “Mary Poppins” than you might first think. But in most ways it’s completely unlike the practically-perfect-in-every-way nanny. Take away the drug turf war, the grand larceny and racial stereotypes and you are left with a movie about familial relationships, doing the right thing, acceptance of others and loyalty. Trouble is the drug turf war, the grand larceny and racial stereotypes take up ninety percent of the movie.

Hill doles out advice like, “You shouldn’t waste your feelings on people who don’t value you,” between buying cocaine and robbing his father’s jewelry store.

I wouldn’t mind the warm-hearted sentiment if it didn’t simply exist as a lame attempt to temper the movie’s raunchier elements. It’s not a kid’s movie by any stretch so why the kid-friendly—and seemingly out-of-character—platitudes from Hill? I don’t think audiences primed for a raunchy comedy will care about the G-rated messages, and the only family who could possibly sit down and enjoy this together would be the Addams Family.

The slapstick is low energy, but at least Hill, in his last role before his extreme weight loss, raises the occasional laugh with his spot on comic delivery, but it’s a not enough to rescue this hybrid of R-rated jokes and family friendly sentiment.

Sitting through a familiar film In Focus by Richard Crouse METRO CANADA Published: December 07, 2011

the_sitterWikipedia says “babysitting is commonly performed as an odd job by teenagers for extra money.” While that is undoubtedly the stereotype, the movies have shown us that babysitters come in all shapes and sizes.

This weekend Jonah Hill plays an irresponsible college student who reluctantly looks after his neighbour’s wild kids.  How wild is it? Well, let’s put it this way; I don’t think Nanny McPhee had a “red band” trailer.

If it sounds familiar, it should. Twenty-four years ago babysitter Elisabeth Shue led her young charges through the streets of Chicago in Adventures in Babysitting. At one point they end up on a nightclub stage. The leader of the house band, played by blues legend Albert Collins, says, “Nobody leaves this place without singing the blues.”

After an awkward pause she improvises the Babysitting Blues.

“It’s so hard babysitting these guys,” she sings. “And they should be in bed,” replies the guitar player over a classic blues-rock riff.

It’s a fantasy, but then again, babysitters have often been the subjects of fantasy. Mary Poppins is a mythical character, a “practically perfect in every way” nanny who knows how to do the right thing in every situation. Kind of like a Victoria Age Super Nanny. In The Babysitter, however, Alicia Silverstone was a much different kind of fantasy child-minder.

This 1995 thriller about a babysitter who becomes the object of obsession for not only the young boys she looks after but for their father as well, is more chilling than titillating. The ads hinted at some nudity from star Silverstone, but in reality she refused to do the film unless the nude scenes where removed.

The most lovable movie minder has to be John Candy as Uncle Buck. Even though he pretends to be capable of mutilation with power tools, he’s less violent than Rebecca De Mornay in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, manlier than Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire and more alive than all the babysitters in Halloween.

In the movie’s most famous scene he answers a barrage of questions from his nephew, played by Macaulay Culkin.

On the day of filming the younger actor couldn’t remember all the questions, so Candy wrote them out and hid them where Culkin could read them.

Now that’s something a great babysitter would do.