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‘The Sitter’ isn’t just bad – it’s superbad (and that’s not a compliment)

 

 
Overview
 

Genre:
 
Starring: , ,
 
Directed By:
 
Studio:
 
MPAA Rating:
 
Release Date: December 9, 2011
 
Length: 81 minutes
 
Directing
6.0


 
Plot
5.0


 
Acting
7.0


 
Cinematography
6.0


 
Total Score
6.0
6/ 10


 

Whoa


The role of the irreverent babysitter is practically perfect for Hill, who revels in playing the smart ass.

No


Ultimately, it's just not very funny.


Bottom Line

The movie attempts to be a raunchy comedy but undercuts its transgression so much, it settles for something watered down and not very funny.

0
Posted December 12, 2011 by

 
Full Review
 
 

We’ve liked Jonah Hill since he starred opposite Michael Cera in the comedy Superbad. Since then, there has been a string of hits (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Funny People, Moneyball) and misses (Strange Wilderness, Cyrus). You can put the new film, The Sitter, in the latter category. The movie attempts to be a raunchy comedy but undercuts its transgression so much, it settles for something watered down. And ultimately it’s just not very funny.

One of the movie’s biggest problems is the plot. The film begins with Noah (Hill) orally pleasuring Marisa (Ari Graynor), whom he hopes will become his girlfriend. It’s a shameless opportunity to make a few crude references and establish Noah’s desperation. We quickly learn that the jobless Noah still lives at home with his mother (Jessica Hecht) and is limited to bicycle transportation because his license was suspended due to a DUI. So, when his mother asks him to babysit her friend’s kids, he feels obligated to help her out despite his lack of interest . . . or babysitting skills.

Noah doesn’t exactly bond with the kids: Slater (Max Records) wallows in his insecurities; Blithe (Landry Bender) wears too much makeup and obsesses over celebrity culture; and Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez) blows things up with homemade bombs. But when Marisa calls and offers to finally give him sex if he shows up at a party, he piles the kids into the family’s minivan and heads out to find her, stopping along the way to pick up some drugs from her dealer, the hot-headed Karl (Sam Rockwell). The deal goes down smoothly until Rodrigo swipes a jar containing $10,000 worth of coke. Karl demands Noah repay him or be killed.

Noah tries to come up with the cash—robbing a bah mitzvah and committing other crimes along the way—but can’t gather more than a few thousand dollars. Karl comes after him, endangering the kids during a high-speed chase. All the while, Noah comes off as both a loser who makes one wrong decision after another and a sensitive, intuitive guy who helps each child individually cope with his or her problems.

The role of the irreverent babysitter is practically perfect for Hill, who revels in playing the smart ass. And he has a few good lines, especially when he winds up at a bar in the tough part of town and has to prove that he’s a jive talking bad-ass. But there’s no chemistry between him and the kids, and plot structure is so fabricated, it never feels natural. After Hill seemingly made a breakthrough earlier this year in Moneyball by playing a role that required some real acting, The Sitter feels like a giant step backwards.


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