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The Sitter


The_Sitter_Poster

You may not be familiar with the name David Gordon Green, but if you are a fan of Danny McBride (Eastbound & Down, Pineapple Express), you are very familiar with Green’s recent work. Green has directed such masterpieces as Your Highness, the aforementioned show and movie, and The Sitter. The latter is the only one not to consist of his foul-mouthed college buddy, but it is a lasting relic in cinematic history: the final act of legendary Fat Jonah Hill.

Grade:

D+

Noah Griffith (Jonah Hill) is a fairly pathetic individual with no drive or ambition. He’s nice, but that’s it. He gets used by his “girlfriend” Marisa (Ari Graynor), lives with his mom, was kicked out of college, and has never held a job longer than four months. In a rare act of selfless behavior, Noah decides to babysit for family friends in order for his mother to have a night out and potentially meet a nice man. When Marisa calls offering the chance to finally have full-on intercourse with the stipulation that he gets her some cocaine, Noah jumps at the opportunity and brings the kids along.

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Let’s get the easy part out of the way. Adventures in Babysitting is a far superior film, and not just for Elisabeth Shue…although she helps. The Sitter is quintessential Jonah Hill. One minute he’s the shy, unassuming guy who just wants to treat the girl of his dreams right; the next moment he’s spouting nonsensical holier-than-thou bullshit to a group of gangsters and gaining their trust and respect. It never makes sense, but it’s comical!

There’s really no rhyme or reason to The Sitter. Each of the kids has a flaw that eventually gets resolved with Noah and he becomes their hero. Although, when his efforts shine through, you realize he never puts any effort in connecting with the El Salvadorian adopted child Rodrigo. That requires effort from the other boy, Slater (Max Records—an awesome name by the way). In any case, everything is predictable and cliché. Nothing new happens.

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No, really. Nothing new happens. Jonah Hill is the same character. Ari Graynor is reprising her role from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Sam Rockwell is eccentric and weird. J.B. Smoove is the token funny black guy, while Method Man is the likable thug. It’s incredible how they all fell into the same roles and the film actually held together.

The laughs are infrequent and mediocre at best. Maybe a drunken viewing would suffice, but a sober viewing leads to disappointment and shame. There are some comedies that you simply have to see to be aware of cultural influence. The Sitter will slip into obscurity as fast as it left the theaters. I can’t see a cult following growing for this one, folks. Since Pineapple Express was far and away Green’s best effort, I hope he rights the ship soon or his career will sink fast.

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