Monday, November 5, 2012

The Sitter


"Hello. This is Jonah Hill".
"Hi. I'm a studio exec. You were in that movie with all the kids, right?"
"Superbad? Yeah. That's me. But recently I've been in..."
"So do you want to be in another movie with lots of toilet humour?"
"I don't know. I'm trying to get out of that image."
"We'll pay you millions of dollars, and you get to wear the same shirt you wore in all your other movies".
"Um... is there going to be at least one dick joke?"
"Sure, sure. In fact, we'll set someone's crotch on fire."
"Sign me up!"

Click the link to see what your hard earned money paid for.



PREMISE
Jonah Hill is a slacker. Just kicked out of college, no job, a girl who uses him, and a mom who's just trying to get by. It's the perfect life. That's when Hill's mom asks him to babysit some kids as a favour while she, and the children's parents have a night out on the town. Hill finally accepts, and starts laying down the law as soon as he meets the kids. There's Slater, who has the anxiety level of a middle-aged stock trader. There's Blithe, a little girl who's role model is Paris Hilton and all the sluts of the world. And finally Rodrigo, the adopted kid who has an endless supply of cherry bombs and more grease in his hair than your average filet-o-fish.
I'll let you try to guess who's who.
Hill's girlfriend calls and says she wants him to come to a party because she wants to make love to him finally. And while he's at it, could he pick up some cocaine for her. Hill refuses and tells her as much as he'd love to, he has three little kids to watch. He orders a ton of pizza and lets the kids watch any movie they want, sending them to bed just before the parents come home.
Isn't baby-sitting the best?
Wait a sec. That didn't happen. I was just remembering how real life works. Of course Hill says yes and piles the kids into the min-van. Then it's off to the local drug dealer for some fun and exciting adventures. Along the way, Hill will help the kids learn valuable life lessons. And maybe, just maybe, Hill will learn some lessons himself.
"I'm only getting $20 to babysit these kids. So, yeah. I don't really care what happens to them."


MY TAKE
The Sitter is what it is. If you go in expecting a story about growing up and learning responsibility, you'll be disappointed. On the other hand, if you expect tons of swearing, completely idiotic characters and situations that are cliche beyond belief, then you've come to the right film. Whether you like that kind of movie or not is up to you.
"I loved that movie. And so did my girl. Right babe? RIGHT?"
The thing with these kinds of movies is that they are character-based, and 90% of the characters are unlikable. Start with Hill's character. Lazy, easily manipulated, and ready to make bad choices the entire movie. How can you get behind a guy like that? Hill is such a likeable actor, it's kind of amazing he always gets these kinds of roles. Horny, does anything for attention, kind of stupid, but redeemable in the end (see Superbad, Strange Wilderness, Get Him to the Greek, 21 Jump Street). Hill's character has had a tough childhood, which is used to explain his dumb-assery. But it kind of gets old after you've seen that as an excuse so many times.
"I know. It's like people enjoy watching us fail."
Then there's his love interest. If you want to see Hollywood's stereotype of a horrible girl, here it is. Cute, but selfish, manipulative, deceptive. Some studio exec once went through the dictionary and found every word describing a bad person, then wrote it into the script. I've met some jerks before, but really? Is this kind of person so common?
"Why don't people like me?"
For some reason, the dads in this movie are also complete A-holes. Take the father of the little kids. He's a hard-ass. While the mom is telling Hill what time they'll be home and what to eat for dinner, the dad takes him aside to threaten him and tell him what a loser he thinks he is.

"Here's your babysitting money.  Whore"
Then there's Hill's father, who ran out on the family for the baby sitter. When Hill goes to his house to ask for some help, the dad basically does the same thing. He lets Hill know what a loser he is, and that he'll never get any help from him.  At least this keeps us from feeling bad when Hill ends up destroying his dad's business.
"So I love my other son more. So I changed my password from your birthday to his. So I never paid any of the child support I owe your mom. At least I'm not a loser."
And lastly, we have the kids. You can't blame child actors for being annoying. Kids are naturally annoying. But you can blame writers for writing dumb movies. In the story, one of the kids, Rodrigo, was adopted. He's a firebug, constantly dropping cherry bombs in toilets, and stealing things. If his character wasn't in the film, there would have been almost no conflict. Rodrigo was added for no other reason than to cause conflict.
"I'm a horrible child... Esse."
The one redeeming feature of this movie, and almost reason enough to watch it, is Sam Rockwell. Rockwell plays a drug dealer with a habit of making everyone he meets his best friend one minute, and having no remorse about shooting them the next. Every minute Rockwell is on screen is funny. His strange drug den/muscle cave was the highlight of the movie, and luckily he's got some screen time.
How can you not love that smile?

FINAL SCORE- Two ostrich eggs full of blow.

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