Review of The Sitter

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A broke college student on suspension is coaxed into babysitting the kids next door, and takes on several unexpected surprises throughout the course of the night.
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Movie Review: "The Sitter"

--Rating: R (language, crude sexual content, some violence, drugs)
Length: 81 minutes
Release Date: December 9, 2011
Directed by: David Gordon Green
Genre: Comedy

When the audience first meets Noah Griffith (Jonah Hill), he is in a one-sided relationship with his dreadful girlfriend Marisa (Ari Graynor), who clearly doesn't love or even like him very much. From the opening scene, we get the sense that Noah has no self-confidence. If he did, he would surely kick Marisa to the curb, get his slacker life together and go back to college.

Later that day, Noah finds himself roped into baby-sitting duty for a trio of seemingly cute kids. This is where viewers must suspend reality for the rest of the movie. These three children are all complete caricatures that are not likely to exist in real life. At least, you can hope they don't exist.

Blithe (Landry Bender) is a Paris Hilton clone who wants to grow up to be famous only for the sake of being famous, but does not have any actual talent and is not willing to make a real effort to achieve her goal. Brother Slater (Max Records) is the most believable character, because his personality centers around having a smart mouth and a bit of an identity crisis. Adopted sibling Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez) is the most inexplicable of the group. He has a talent for blowing up toilets with large firecrackers. He also has a problem with running away. Both problems come up again later.

Marisa calls Noah and asks him to get some cocaine for a party that she is attending later that evening. She promises that they can finally have sex if he can deliver the coke. Although Noah is supposed to be the hero of the movie, the fact that he packs the children into the car in search of illegal drugs is disheartening. It makes it hard to root for him when he makes such an obviously dangerous choice.

Noah and the kids end up in the drug den of Karl (Sam Rockwell), who seems desperate for friends. He takes a liking to Noah, until it is revealed that Rodrigo not only stole one of his expensive coke-filled dinosaur eggs but also blew up his toilet. Karl vows to kill Noah if he does not come up with the coke or $10,000 to pay for it.

The rest of the film is spent in various crazy situations as Noah tries to get the money together. Each scenario is less believable than the last. Somewhere along the way, Noah manages to bond with each of the kids. He helps them resolve some of their problems, while finally opening his eyes to his own issues.

Noah also gets a potential love interest in Roxanne (Kylie Bunbury), a former college classmate. The fact that Noah can meet a replacement for Marisa, help three children he just met with their issues and have an epiphany all in one night is completely unbelievable. As a viewer, you really just have to ignore reality and go along for the ride.

There are some genuinely funny moments in "The Sitter." The key is not to take the movie too seriously. There are some definite plot loopholes and a few scenarios that don't make sense. Despite this, Jonah Hill makes you want to keep watching. The film clocks in at an anemic 81 minutes, so you won't have to watch it for very long. The story chugs along to the inevitable happy conclusion, set to a fine soundtrack that is one of the highlights of the film. This comedy doesn't break any new ground and is downright silly, but it is still somewhat heartwarming. Hill turns in a winning performance and gets the audience behind him despite the fact that he put kids in harm's way. Fans of Hill or the scenery-chewing Sam Rockwell will be reasonably entertained by "The Sitter."