Babysitter needed! Must be able to deal with evil girlfriends and psychotic drug dealers! Vulgar language and burglary experience a plus! Well, what did you expect from Jonah Hill and director David Gordon Green? “The Sitter” is a raunchy comedy that follows the perpetually doomed Noah (Jonah Hill) on a wild night of babysitting.
Booted from college with nothing do, Noah finds himself in the most unlikely situation, that is, babysitting three very different and very weird kids. Naturally, mischief beckons for Noah to hit the streets and bring the kids along for a little excursion – albeit a very dangerous and crazy little excursion – where an attempt to score drugs for his bratty love interest goes awry and makes the dealer’s shit list.
Jonah Hill does his usual witty smartass character who has a deep appreciation of boobs and obscure cultural references that even Jeopardy fanatics won’t catch. The kids – comprised of the fancy pants, Slater; aspiring celebutante, Blithe; and El Salvadoran foster kid, Rodrigo – all seem conceptually funny, but rarely are allowed to really shine. In fact, the kids are often left out of the story, waiting outside in the car or in some desolate and terrifying alleyway as Noah sinks deeper in his shit quicksand. All the clichés show their all so familiar faces. Rodrigo blows toilets up with cherry bombs and talks trash in Spanish. The anxiety-riddled kid who comes to realize he’s gay by the end of the film. And for Blithe, the crazy little girl, well, she’s just a crazy little girl with all the rehashed inappropriate interests in nightclubs and 2 Live Crew songs. The kids have potential, but the jokes are lazy and pretty safe for a Jonah Hill movie. Although, the somewhat spooky Rodrigo has his share of hilarious moments, if anything, the mere outfit and coif are enough to induce chuckling.
Despite some funny moments, especially an outstanding scene in which Jonah Hill really flexes his jive talkin’ musles, the movie pales in comparison to Hill’s previous hits like “Superbad” and director David Gordon Green’s work on the eerily classic “Eastbound and Down.” Why the hell Danny McBride wasn’t written into the movie is beyond me. The thuggish drug dealer – Sam Rockwell and his accomplice J.B. Smoove – that chase Noah down throughout the movie is cheap, simple and forgettable. That’s where someone like McBride could have stole some scenes.
It’s a beautiful thing how Jonah’s character can impact these young peoples’ lives so much within a few hours. All the kids have huge character arcs that they’re likely to forget about the next day. And Noah, who describes himself “more of a sit on the couch, eat a burrito, do what I say or I’ll kill you type of a babysitter” comes quite fond of these kids and dumps his no good girlfriend with no problem. Everything works out for the Sitter and absolutely nothing is of consequence. So, sit back and do as you’re told.