Aisle Seat: A misadventure in babysitting

Morning Star movie reviewer Jason Armstrong gives The Sitter one star-and-a-half out of five.

  • Dec. 18, 2011 4:00 p.m.

Noah (Jonah Hill) tries to get a leg up on thug-in-training Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez) in The Sitter.

It’s a good bet that, if you’re at all familiar with ‘80s flicks, The Sitter will recall memories of Adventures In Babysitting. And given how sloppy, crass and misguided this new comedy is, expect those memories to be extremely fond ones.  You’ll miss the ‘80s. You really will.

And really, why do they struggle to make loopy, feel-good flicks like that anymore?  Instead, we have the same old clichés, only the adorable kids are replaced with precocious tykes who either dream of being a celebrity and partying at nightclubs, or rebellious ones who like to blow up public restroom toilets with cherry bombs. Charming.

The Sitter is a vehicle for the usually entertaining Jonah Hill, and his expression throughout the film pretty much sums up that he’s fully aware that he’s behind the wheel of a clunker.

Dazed and delivering his lines with little pep, Hill plays Noah Griffin, a slacker who ends up playing babysitter for the evening to give his single mom a chance to go on a blind date.

The kids are, predictably, little terrors. But it doesn’t stop Noah from taking them on a joy ride to a party in the city, where he hopes to hook up with a girl that he’s trying to impress. The trip is, predictably, a disaster, as circumstances force Noah to drag the kids into locales such as a drug den (where he tangles with the more-creepy-than-comical Sam Rockwell), a jewelry store (where he robs the joint), and a high-speed car chase, complete with bullets.  And the outcome is, predictably, pretty awful.

Director David Gordon Green, once an indie darling, but lately saddled by raunchy sludge like Pineapple Express and Your Highness, just doesn’t have the material to make The Sitter work.

The guy has a clever visual style, and even when his marquee star, Hill, is totally off base, he’s still a unique presence (if you wanna see him really shine, catch Moneyball). Still, The Sitter is just too devoid of joy and brains to ever get going. Funny how the comedy attempts to take a heartwarming turn near the finish line. By that point, it’s been so overdosed on mean spirit, what’s the point?

Oh, Elisabeth Shue, where are you?

The feature is currently playing at the Galaxy Cinemas.

–– Jason Armstrong is The Morning Star’s longtime movie reviewer. His column, Aisle Seat, appears every Friday and Sunday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon’s History in Pictures

Legendary Vernon hockey player Larry Kwong was fast off the ice as well

Vernon musician streams live performance

Brandon Schmor is latest in QUSIC’s LGBT2Q+ Artist Music Series this Wednesday, Aug. 5, from Kelowna

Vernon trail gets new connection

Connection links the Coldstream Valley Estates and Boss Creek trail segments on Vernon Hill

Tributes aplenty for Vernon realtor, Rotarian

Dave DeShane died suddenly at age 55 on Tuesday, July 28

Sternwheelers once plied Okanagan Lake

Vessels once transported passengers and goods along the Okanagan Valley

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Police watchdog investigates Kamloops RCMP after stabbing death

The IIO is investigating the police’s lack of success in locating the man charged in stabbing

Forty-three properties near Dry Lake, along Highway 5A, under evacuation alert

Wildfire has been burning out of control north of Princeton for two days

Wildfire near Merritt creates smoke for drivers on Coquihalla

Coldwater River fire was estimated at seven hectares Aug. 3 and classified as out of control

Thompson Okanagan Tourist Association: Who can’t access your business?

TOTA launches video to encourage proprietors to remove barriers

Shuswap pet nutritionist, raw diet advocate to be featured in national magazine

Sicamous-based Deanna Larocque building reputation for canine support

BC RCMP notify IIO BC of incident involving police dog in Kelowna

A suspect and a police dog were taken to receive medical treatment after an incident on Aug. 1.

Alberta man presumed to have drowned after cliff jumping in Peachland

Emergency responders began rescue efforts at around 2:40 p.m. on Aug. 1.

Most Read