By Gary Murray
Starring Jonah Hill, Sam Rockwell and Ari Graynor
Written by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka
Directed by David Gordon Green
Running time 82 min
MPAA Rating R
Selig Film Rating FORGET IT!
The genre that has had the hardest time in 2011 has been the romantic comedy. There have been so many misfires during the year that the cinematic idea just feels that it has been overdone. Running a close second is the raunchy comedy. The shocks have been so overused that the audience has become numb to the experience. We have traveled a long way from Animal House and The Kentucky Fried Movie. The latest to try and revive the idea is The Sitter.
The film starts with Noah (Jonah Hill) between the legs of his girl Marisa (Ari Graynor). While she loves the attention he gives to her nether regions, she has no desire to return the favor. It seems that Noah is a nice guy who gets pushed around by just about everyone. He’s a college drop-out without a job.
To help out his Mom, Noah agrees to watch a trio of kids for a few hours. Almost at once, he realizes that he may just be over his head. Marisa calls Noah and lets him know that if he can score some cocaine, she will do the dirty deed with him. Before one can blink, we get the road trip into NYC.
After a few adventure of losing the kids, Noah finally meets up with Karl (Sam Rockwell) the dealer who makes just about everyone his friend. One of the kids takes a large quantity of coke and the dealer wants either the money or cash. Now, Noah must now come up with some serious scratch before the Mom and Dad get home to find everyone missing. Anyone who has seen this kind of a comedy knows exactly what is going to happen by the end. There are few surprises in this flick.
The Sitter basically violates the first commandment of comedy, it is just not funny. While there are a few moments of humor here and there, all the big laughs are in the trailer. 90 seconds of comedy in an almost 1 ½ hour film is a very low ratio. The film could have used some more funny bits. It drags along and never builds to anything.
Jonah Hill delivers a character without any warmth. He is a jerk from the get-go and never really finds a beat of compassion. The film tries to give him different moments with each kid, moments that are supposed to be tender that come off as trite. He is a younger version of the Patton Oswalt character in Young Adult, but a character who has not learned any life lessons.
Of the supporting cast, the only real break-out was young Landry Bender who played Blithe. The youngest cast member holds her own as the kid who wants to be famous. While some of her lines are bitter and out of character, she still somehow manages to rise above the material.
Call The Sitter a very adult and not very well done re-boot of Adventures in Baby Sitting. The Jonah Hill fans will rush in droves to see this flick, but it is nothing special.