Jonah Hill and some annoying kids star in THE SITTER, directed by David Gordon Green for 20th Century Fox.

The Sitter (2011, David Gordon Green)

It’s somewhat shocking, given Jonah Hill’s presence and David Gordon Green directing, The Sitter is such a mess.

Would a remake of Adventures in Babysitting with a listless college dropout in the lead instead of Elisabeth Shue be funny? Maybe. Probably even. Sadly, Sitter doesn’t give Babysitting any source credit (although some of the scenes are lifted) and the lead isn’t a listless college dropout. Oh, Hill’s “character” is supposed to be a listless college dropout, but he’s really just playing the fat kid from Superbad.

The film runs just over eighty minutes and there’s barely enough story for it. Green’s disinterest in the project is obvious–one has to wonder if it was a contractual obligation for he and Hill. By the third act, Green isn’t even pretending. Hill manages to solve all of his babysitting charges’ problems in the run time, each in exceptionally contrived scenes.

There are some funny moments and the film has good performances, but eighty minutes of outtakes with Sam Rockwell and J.B. Smoove goofing off as drug dealers would probably be a better (and more narratively cohesive) project.

The script is the conspicuous offender, but the fault lies more with Green and producer Michael De Luca. The Sitter is a concept without a narrative; everyone just pretends it isn’t a disaster. The end credits even go so far as to act like the characters are memorable with postscripts. It’s awful.

Sadly, the film’s occasional (unintentional?) interesting aspects go uncultivated.

The Sitter‘s a waste.



Directed by David Gordon Green; written by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka; director of photography, Tim Orr; edited by Craig Alpert; music by Jeff McIlwain and David Wingo; production designer, Richard A. Wright; produced by Michael De Luca; released by 20th Century Fox.

Starring Jonah Hill (Noah Griffith), Landry Bender (Blithe), Kevin Hernandez (Rodrigo), Max Records (Slater), Sam Rockwell (Karl), J.B. Smoove (Julio), Ari Graynor (Marisa Lewis), Kylie Bunbury (Roxanne), Erin Daniels (Mrs. Pedulla), D.W. Moffett (Dr. Pedulla), Jessica Hecht (Sandy Griffith), Bruce Altman (Jim Griffith), Method Man (Jacolby) and Sean Patrick Doyle (Garv).


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