While different enough not to be considered a remake, one can certainly see a lot of similarities between The Sitter and the far superior 1987 film Adventures In Babysitting. The Sitter is just much more vulgar and stars Jonah Hill instead of Elisabeth Shue.
Hill plays Noah Griffith, a guy who was kicked out of college and has a girlfriend (Ari Graynor) who treats him like crap and uses him for sexual favors, but never returns the favor. His mom guilts him into babysitting her friend’s kids so she can go out on a date. Noah goes over to meet the kids and finds out they are the three most obnoxious kids ever. Slater (Max Records) is a 13-year-old with severe anxiety issues, Blithe (Landry Bender) wants to grow up to be the next Paris Hilton and Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez), the adopted son, loves to blow things up.
Noah probably could have had a mostly quite night at home, however his girlfriend calls him and says that if she brings him coke she’ll sleep with him. So against better judgement he loads the kids up into their parent’s minivan and heads into the city where one miss-step after another gets him in deep trouble with Karl, a crazy drug dealer (played Sam Rockwell). Now he has to balance taking care of the kids and their problem and get the money he needs to pay back Karl and even manages to run into a girl he knew in high school who is actually a nice girl who is also hot and also likes him.
The Sitter starts out really slow and one can’t help but make comparisons to Adventures at this point. About halfway through, when Noah begins to connect with the kids, the film starts to get better. He sits down with Slater and has a really heart-to-heart talk about the fact that Slater is gay and that he needs to just own it. This is probably the best scene in the film, but it gets lost in a sea of mediocre scenes surrounding it.
Sam Rockwell is very entertaining as Karl, but one can’t help but think that he is channeling Gary Oldman from True Romance minus the rasta vibe. Then Karl’s guard is basically the poor man’s Terry from Reno 911 complete with short shorts and roller-skates.
David Gordon Green did a great job with Pineapple Express and flopped hard with Your Highness. The Sitter is leagues and bounds funnier than Your Highness but comes nowhere close to reaching the comic moments of Pineapple. There are a lot of moments where it felt like they were trying too hard to make something strange and memorable, like Karl drug den. Also, sometimes the coincidences is just too much to be believable. There are many times when characters just show up in the scene when it’s convenient for it to happen.
The unrated extended edition is like two minutes longer and doesn’t really add much to the film.
This film is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen and 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. This movie looks and sounds fine. I don’t really feel the Blu-ray really adds anything to this film. I think it would look just as good on DVD.
Deleted/Extending Scenes: (25 min.) These are okay, certainly a good reason why they were cut out. Gag Reel: (2 min.) Not the best gag reel. Sits-N-Giggles: (3 min.) Alt. line readings and ad-libs. Some of these are kind of funny. For Your Consideration: (1 min.) some silly times with Landry Bender. The Making Of…: (15 min.) I never heard a making of talk about farts so much. Jonah the Producer: (5 min.) Behind the camera Jonah sits with the kids parents. Not as funny as it’s trying to be.
When the film first opened I was starting to think all the bad things I’d heard might be true, but as the comedy reaches its climax it proves to be better than most the critics made it out to be. It’s by no means a great film, but it’s not going to be a waste of your 81 minutes if you give it a chance.
20th Century Fox presents The Sitter: Totally Irresponsible Edition. Written by: Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka. Directed by: David Gordon Green. Starring: Jonah Hill, Sam Rockwell, Max Records, Landry Bender and Kevin Hernandez. Running time: 81 min. Rating: R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material and some violence. Released on Blu-ray: March 20, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.
Tags: Jonah Hill, The Sitter