Excerpt: What kind of movie do you follow up an Academy Award nominated performance with? Well, if you’re Jonah Hill you do another raunchy teen comedy. And why not? Those movies are what made him a name in Hollywood. Can we picture Superbad , Get Him to the Greek or Knocked Up without him? I don’t think so. But alas, it’s time to bid a fond farewell to the “old” Jonah Hill.
Excerpt: Noah Griffith (Jonah Hill) has agreed to babysit three kids so his single mother can go out on a date, but the kids are a nightmare from the mopey Slater (Max Record) to his celebrity-crazed little sister Blithe (Landry Bender) and their destructive adopted brother Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez).
Excerpt: So last year, director David Gordon Green released two films. One was the R-rated fantasy/comedy Your Highness , which was mostly hated by everyone except myself and a few others. The other was The Sitter , a confusingly unoriginal and bland film, which was mostly hated by everyone including myself. David Gordon Green came from directing fantastic indie dramas for the most part ( All the Real Girls , Undertow ), thought of by some as a young Terrance Malick.
Excerpt: The Movie Since his breakout role in the crass, R-rated Superbad , actor Jonah Hill has lost weight, been cast in better roles and even snagged an Oscar nomination , so how does he follow up? By releasing (and executive-producing) the crass, R-rated The Sitter . Here Hill plays Noah, a crude, "lovable" slacker (how unusual in modern movie comedies!) who steps up to babysit for the first time in his life in order to do his lonely single mom a solid.
Excerpt: Get used to this routine in preparation for The Sitter : characters in car, find a location, kids have a personality moment, chaos ensues, return to vehicle. Repeat ad nauseum for 80-minutes. That’s the structure, breaking any sense of surprise between the admittedly hilarious raunch that permeates this oft uncomfortable R-rated comedy.
Conclusion: The Sitter is not nearly as much fun as the 1980s comedy it unofficially remakes. Still, this R-rated version is reasonably diverting in a similarly escapist way, proving to be a vehicle well suited to Jonah Hill's comic talents. It's not great art, but more often than not, it is funny. Fox's Blu-ray combo pack serves up two versions of the movie plus a mostly okay hour of bonus features.
Summary: I'll get to Jonah Hill in a second, but first, can we comment on the increasingly weird and off-track career of The Sitter 's director, David Gordon Green? In the early 2000s, Green was being hailed as one of the next major American filmmakers, alongside simultaneous up-and-comer P.T. Anderson.
Excerpt: There's nothing wrong with a comedy that treads familiar ground-- if you ask some people, there are only so many kinds of comedy stories you can tell without repeating yourself anyway. But in The Sitter , David Gordon Green slavishly recreates 80s comedies like Adventures in Babysitting and Uncle Buck in all the worst ways, relying on cheap jokes, illogical plotting and occasional ugly stereotypes to tell a story that feels exhausting as soon as it begins.