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Review: The Sitter

I don't remember what year it was, but when I was a little kid, there was a movie called Adventures in Babysitting that I liked. It had a babysitter and the kids that she was watching running around town while avoiding all kinds of trouble. I guess The Sitter is supposed to be like the updated rated R version, but with a male in the lead role.

The Sitter stars Jonah Hill as Noah, an irresponsible guy who doesn't seem to make the best decisions in life. In desperate need of cash, Noah accepts a babysitting job for the night. He is put in charge of Blithe (Landry Bender), Slater (Max Records) and their adopted brother Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez). Noah soon finds out that he is in for more than he bargained for once the parents of these children leave the house.

Things get more complicated when the woman that he wants to be with calls him for help. She tells him that she wants cocaine for her friends and she's also feeling horny. Against his better judgement, Noah decides to go out and get the drugs for her as he finally gets the opportunity to engage intercourse with her. Unfortunately for Noah, even more calamity ensues once he actually gets the kids outside of the house and they run into more trouble with more people.

I was expecting this movie to be raunchy and have at least some laugh out loud moments. There were a few jokes that were funny, but there were also a good portion of them that fell flat. The director tried to make outlandish jokes with things like the use of drugs, kids using profanity, awkward situations and a few lively characters. That didn't work for the most part and that's primarily because the execution seemed both lazy and clich├ęd through much of it.

These kids are supposed to be your typical mischievous brats that are always present in movies like this, but they just seemed like angry kids with bad attitudes instead. They only caused "by the numbers" problems anyway and none of it was memorable or really stood out. Some of their actions were exaggerated with the purpose of making the film more outrageous than it ended up being. When you have these roles for kids, they're supposed to bring real value and mayhem to a film. I didn't feel that from these guys and that's in large part due to the material they had to work with.

The most outrageous and R rated part in The Sitter might have been the opening scene. It was fairly tame after that and it never got to where it should have been. After the several swings and misses that this movie took, just about everything eventually felt stagnant. Some of the characters had potential and were alright, but the movie itself appeared to pull them down a few notches. It would have been cool to see some of these actors do what I think they were capable of doing, but they didn't get enough face time and some of them felt like they were simply being suppressed.

Another problem in the movie was the fact that they tried to put life lessons into it with Jonah Hill as the teacher. Seriously? That's not what I would have expected and it didn't go over well at all. That just added to the tedious nature that surrounded this movie. It didn't fit and made the movie feel more and more cheesy every time they tried it.

The Sitter wanted to be several things, but it had problems doing most of what it set out to do. Outside of a few of the jokes, there weren't many good things going on here. The movie felt cluttered and uninspired with almost everything that was being shown on-screen. I don't know if the creators honestly put the proper effort into it, but it certainly doesn't look like they did.

Score: 2/5

Rating: R

Director: David Gordon Green

Jonah Hill
Landry Bender
Kevin Hernandez
Max Records
Sam Rockwell
Ari Graynor
J.B. Smoove
Method Man

Film Length: 80 minutes

Release Date: December 9, 2011

Distributor: 20th Century Fox

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