Adventures in Babysitting (1987) Poster

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A really sweet and innocent comedy about a girl who babysits but has to take a tour downtown.
simspace16 January 2005
This is a really funny movie because you never really know where it's going. Basically everything that happens in it happens by accident. It's not only funny but also exciting if you aren't that old. I think it's great.

It sort of reminds me about "Afterhours" (starring Griffin Dunne) but this is the family version of that movie. Anything can happen during a crazy night or so it seems. Elisabeth Shue is good in this movie and everyone in it seems to have had a good time making it. If you just want to see a cute movie which makes you feel good , or if you've had enough of over-dramatic epics , action that blows you out of your seat and bloody horror movies , check this out. It's sweet , funny , lovable and adventurous all at the same time. If you don't like it , there are more than enough of violence out there for you.
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Just a FUN movie!
LebowskiT10001 August 2002
Why does this movie have such a low rating on this site? This is such a good movie! Ok, I'll admit, the story is pretty odd, but it's still very good, and it's a great adventure.

All the actors do a great job in the film. Elizabeth Shue looks as beautiful as ever and does a great job as Chris Parker. Keith Coogan does a great job as well. Other notable cast members are Vincent D'Onofrio, Penelope Ann Miller, Geroge Newbern, Bradley Whitford, and Lolita Davidovich. Also, I have to hand it to director Chris Columbus, he did a superb job with this film. Amazingly enough, this was his first directorial effort too. Good job Chris! It's always good to see where directors come from, if you didn't know, he went on to do "Home Alone", "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York", "Mrs. Doubtfire", "Bicentennial Man", and "Harry Potter: The Sorcerer's Stone", just to name a few.

There are so many good things about this film! This movie's got action, adventure, and comedy. The comedy in the film is absolutely fantastic! There are a few scenes that crack me up just thinking about them. ...And there are a great number of quotable lines that everyone that has seen this movie will remember.

Anyhow, I strongly suggest you see this film! I really hope that you enjoy the film if you haven't seen it already. Thanks for reading,

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Brenda Brenda Brenda!
the-jerk14 May 2005
"Adventures in Babysitting" is an underrated gem featuring a very strong young cast. The movie opens with Chris Parker (played by Elizabeth Shue in a very early starring role) first finding out that her boyfriend can't make their big date that night. So she agrees to babysit Sara and Brad Anderson, played by Maia Brewton and Keith Coogan (both of whom have dropped off the face of the earth, apparently, in the last 10 or 15 years). Sara's kind of a brat, and Brad has a crush on Chris. Brad's best friend Daryl (played by Anthony Rapp, who went on to appear in "Dazed and Confused" and "Road Trip"), who is an annoying wise-ass, also drops by. Things go okay until Chris gets a call from her best friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller), who says that she ran away from home, and is now stuck at a bus station in the city with no money and no way home, and of course she can't call her parents. This prompts Chris to take the kids (including Daryl) on a little trip, and of course, hilarious hijinks ensue.

They have a tire blow-out, and are helped by a mechanic with a hook for a hand. Their car is then stolen, and they go to try to get it back. They're caught by the mobsters running the car ring, and have to escape (which they achieve by walking along a very thin metal beam overhead). But the mobsters catch them trying to leave, forcing them on the run and leading to one of the funniest scenes in the movie: going through a blues club, the singer stops them, saying "Ain't nobody leaves here without singing the blues." So they do, Chris leading, singing a song about their predicament. It's both cute and hilarious, with the others joining in singing back-up ("And we should be in bed!").

The rest of the movie is about them being chased through the city by these mobsters, and of course, there's one funny bit after another, with some suspenseful bits thrown in for good measure. This is all hilarious, but the best scenes are the ones interspersed throughout with Brenda trying to get along at the bus station. Penelope Ann Miller truly steals the show; scared out of her skull, she has to contend with such problems as a bum yelling at her to get out of his "house" (a phone booth); getting her glasses stolen by a bag lady (the look on the bag lady's face when she puts them on and realizes she can see is priceless); a hot dog vendor who won't help her out ("Then I don't have a wiener!" he says when she says she doesn't have any cash); and a jumbo-sized sewer rat she tries to rescue, thinking it's a cute little kitty cat (because she can't see). This is probably the best part Penelope Ann Miller has ever had, and she demonstrates a surprising talent for screwball comedy.

Like I said, the rest of the young cast is great; Shue pretty much began her career here, and Coogan, Rapp, and Brewton (who was also very funny on the also underrated TV show "Parker Lewis Can't Lose", which I'm dying to see come out on DVD) put in funny, though clichéd, parts. "Adventures in Babysitting" is one of those movies that just sounded kind of dumb based on the title (like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), but if you haven't seen it, give it a try anyway; the brilliant gags and the strong acting made it work.
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This is one awesome movie!
jhaggardjr8 September 2000
"Adventures in Babysitting" is a movie that I'll never forget. One of the reasons why this film is so memorable is because of the Chicago locations. For the past 25 years or so there have been lots of good movies shot in and around Chicago (as well as the suburbs) such as "Risky Business", "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", and "The Fugitive" just to name a few. But "Adventures in Babysitting" is probably my favorite movie to be made in Chicago. I saw this movie when it first came out in the summer of 1987 (a year after "Ferris Bueller" which "Adventures" bares somewhat of a resemblence to) and while I was watching the film it felt to me like I was part of the adventure. Today, this is still a very entertaining picture, and a lot of fun. Elisabeth Shue is terrific in her first leading role as Chris Parker, a 17-year-old high school senior who prepares for a big date with her boyfriend at the beginning of the film. But he cancels the date, and since she's now free for the night, she's asked to babysit for the Anderson kids. She agrees. Once she gets over there, she gets a frantic phone call from her best friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller) who's run away from home and is now stranded at a bus station in downtown Chicago. Terrified after witnessing a shooting, Brenda asks Chris to pick her up because she blew all her money on the cab ride to the bus station. Hesitant, Chris has no choice but to take the two Anderson kids Sara (Maia Brewton) and Brad (Keith Coogan) with her to pick up poor Brenda. Also going along for the ride, Brad's horny best friend Daryl (Anthony Rapp). Once they get on the expressway, things start to go wrong. Very wrong. This is where "Adventures in Babysitting" turns into a fun movie. The foursome experience car troubles; run-ins with a friendly car thief, a mob group the thief works for (who spend most of the movie chasing the kids through the streets of Chicago), and two gangs on a train; a short trip to a hospital (when one of the kids is slightly injured by a member of one of those gangs); a brief stop at a frat party; a chase to the top of a high-rise building; and a show stopping classic scene in a blues bar. And much more happens as the hapless Brenda continues to wait and wait and wait for Chris to come get her. "Adventures in Babysitting" was directed by Chris Columbus in his directing debut after writing screenplays for a couple of Steven Spielberg produced movies ("Gremlins", "The Goonies", and "Young Sherlock Holmes"). Since this film, Columbus has gone on to direct some of the biggest box office hit comedies of all-time such as "Home Alone", "Home Alone 2", and "Mrs. Doubtfire". "Adventures in Babysitting" was nowhere near as big a hit as those films, but it did modestly well. I would have loved to see a sequel to this. It would have been interesting to see what kind of misadventures were next for Chris and company. Shue, Brewton, Coogan, and Rapp all seem to be having a blast on screen, and I would too if I were up their on the screen. Even though Miller doesn't seem to be having a good time, she's a scream as Brenda (she would later show off some real good acting in "Kindergarten Cop" and "Awakenings"). And Vincent D'Onofrio (of "Men in Black" and currently "The Cell") has one of his first film roles in a very small part as the owner of a auto repair shop (where the broken down car gets fixed). "Adventures in Babysitting" is a movie that's great fun from start to finish and never lets up. This comedy/adventure is awesome!

**** (out of four)
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marlowe_is_dead16 January 2005
For an unknown (to me) reason, when I saw this on British TV, it was called "A Night On The Town", a far inferior title than 'Adventures in Babysitting', although maybe they figured that parents would think this a children's movie...

Anyway, the movie itself is charming in that way that only 1980s US comedy films are. There is an air of innocence to the whole thing, before these more conscious and overtly cynical days that we know and hate now - maybe a reason why 1980s retro is all the rage now... that, and things are cyclical.

I thought the film WAS charming, although entirely far-fetched in its plot lines, although I think that was kind of the point. The characters, while not being very complicated, were warm and at least not entirely two-dimensional, and the little girl was quite cute and not extremely annoying as could have happened.

Overall, I'd recommend it to hounds who love to watch 80s films.
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One of those movies you grow out of, but don't stop liking
Smells_Like_Cheese28 November 2003
I grew up with this movie and always wanted to be like Chris. She was so beautiful and handled the toughest situations so well. She took the deadliest situations and got the kids out of them so safely. Well, now I babysit and I'm glad I never got in the same situation, but it still made for a great and fun movie.

Chris is a senior who has a big date planned with her boyfriend, but when he cancels, she is forced to babysit the Anderson's daughter, Sara. They also have a son, Brad is a couple years younger and has a huge crush on Chris and decides to cancel on his friend, Darrel to stay home with Chris. But when Chris's best friend, Brenda, calls her from the Anderson's, she finds out her friend is stranded at a bus station and can't get anyone else to help her. So Chris takes Brad and Sara and is forced to take Darrel since he won't leave them alone, they all go into the city of Chicago and end up getting a flat and get into one deadly situation after the next, even getting chased by the Mafia!

This is a fun flick that I still watch 'til this day and have so much fun with. I would always recommend this also for anyone, I truly hope it is discovered by new generations. I still enjoy singing along with the "Babysitting Blues", I think I finally feel Chris's pain, after all, I'm too old to babysit. :D

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A Cult-Movie for the Entire Life
claudio_carvalho18 November 2014
In the suburbs of Chicago, the seventeen year-old Chris Parker (Elisabeth Shue) is in love with her boyfriend Mike (Bradley Whitford). When Mike stands her up and cancels their dinner in Chicago, Chris accepts to babysit the siblings Sara (Maia Brewton) and Brad (Keith Coogan). But her friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller) calls her telling that she decided to run away home but now she has repented; she begs Chris to rescue her from the bus station in downtown Chicago. Chris makes a deal with Sara and Brad and when she is ready to drive to downtown, Brad's friend Daryl (Anthony Rapp) overhears the negotiation and blackmails Chris to go with them. However, when they are on the expressway, Chris has a flat tire and she realizes that she has forgotten her purse in the house. The mechanic Pruitt (John Ford Noonan) stops this tow truck and offers to truck the car to his garage. Chris sees no other option and accepts the offer in the beginning of an unforgettable night of adventures in Chicago.

"Adventures in Babysitting" is one of those adorable cult-movies for the entire life. I saw this movie in the 80's and since then, it has become one of my top movies ever. There are unforgettable scenes and maybe my favorite is when Albert Collins says that nobody leaves the club without singing a blues. The 25th anniversary Blu-Ray is really a worthwhile shopping. My vote is nine.

Title (Brazil): "Uma Noite de Aventuras" ("One Night of Adventures")

Note: On 16 April 2019, I saw this film again.
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cdowg18717 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, I just wanna say I actually thought the little girl with the Thor Fan-girl obsession was adorable. Sure she was almost slightly psychotic. But still Adorable none the less.

Also that makes me a bit of a hypocrite, because when I was that age I had a major Batman obsession.


I thought it was just funny as *beep* when Vincent D'Onofrio (best known as pvt. pyle from Full Metal Jacket) played the a-hole mechanic who sort of resembled the viking god of thunder!

He obviously looked nothing like Marvels version of Thor, but then again I guess he wasn't suppose to.

Am I alone with the idea that it would be kind of funny if they put Vince in the Thor movie just as like a cameo or something?!

Also I wish Elizabeth Shoe would have baby sat me as a kid, and taken me into the ghetto of Chi town!

Some one please tell me that this movie is on DVD.
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Babysitting Was Never This Much Fun For Me
Big Movie Fan2 December 2002
When I first saw this movie in the late 1980's I thought to myself how whenever I had babysat I had had a pretty boring night stuck in front of a TV hoping the kids wouldn't wake up crying and spoil the peace. How I wish they had been more like this movie.

Elizabeth Shue plays Chris Parker who is babysitting one night but due to certain circumstances ends up taking the kids out on the town in order to pick up one of her friends. What follows is all sorts of adventures involving thugs, crooks, thieves, the lot. The film is totally funny to watch and has some really good scenes in. Two that come to mind involve a fight between two gangs on a train and one involving the god of Thunder Thor (well, not the Thor you would be expecting).

This is an exciting movie which was typical of 1980's movies. Boy, I wish they could make movies like that now. The 80's has got to be the best decade ever for films of all genres and this movie is just one of many great comedy films of that era. Oh and by the way, I think Elizabeth Shue is beautiful and I believe this was her best role.
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This movie set new boundaries in movie-making.
bluesharp9428 June 2004
I didn't want to go see this movie back in '87 with my kids, but I was dragged into it. The movie was awesome then, and it still remains a great movie. Why? The music. Anyone even remotely interested in "The Blues" as a music genre should have this DVD in their library. Not only do you get some great blues music as part of the scoring, the incidental Blues Club Scene, vintage Chicago, pulls this out of the ordinary to a slam for music lovers.

And, ... how about the straggling scene after the credits, which is standard today. Heck, I'm in my 50s, and I still have to pull this movie out to hear the harp licks.
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Adventures in Babysitting - Sweet, but Fun and Good
Ubenavides2115 November 2004
Uriel's Movie Reviews - Adventures in Babysitting***1/2 (1hr 39min)(Rated PG-13)

The 1987 flick from future Harry Potter and Mrs. Doubtfire director Chris Columbus, Adventures in Babysitting is a good film and it has some fun moments in it.

Its about a high school senior named Chris Parker(Elisabeth Shue) in a rich suburb of Chicago, where she has just been agrees to babysit for a pre-teen girl named Sara (Maia Brewton) and his older brother Brad(Keith Coogan), with his friend Daryl(Anthony Rapp).

The children's parents leave for a party and the babysitter relaxes thinking this will be another boring night, however, she receives a call from her friend who just ran away from home and is at the train station in Chicago. She is scared and wants her to come and pick her up. The babysitter cannot leave the children alone and so she takes them and one of the teenagers' friend on a wild and crazy adventure.

In her pursuit to pick up her friend, they have to deal with being in a love quarrel where pistol is being fired, and then, being in a stolen car that results in gangster-like characters chasing them because they posses information about their operation.

The reason why this movie is so good is that the characters are rich and come from a secluded suburban area who never had to deal with the hard life of the inner-city, and One interesting moment in the movie is when they were in a blues club and they were told they could not leave without singing the blues.

This is really good, and also fun movie to enjoy.
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In My Top 10 Films Ever
davidjanuzbrown30 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
There are certain films that I never tire of and this is one of them. It goes without saying that this film has everything you could possibly want in a film and more. It has a flawless cast headed by Elisabeth Shue (Chris), Maia Brewton (Sara), Keith Coogan (Brad), and Vincent D'Onofrio (Dawson). Spoilers ahead: Here is a little bit of how the film starts out. Chris who is babysitting Sara and Brad (His Friend Daryl (Anthony Rapp) also stayed over), and they had to make a trip into Chicago to pick her friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller), who ran away from home, and they essentially go through hell trying to pick up Brenda and get back home. Some of the things they went through included being chased down by the mob (Daryl stole a copy of Playboy that has betting information, because he saw the centerfold is a dead ringer for Chris), and ending up in in an all-black blues bar, with the rule being "Nobody gets out of here without singing the blues.", so they have to singing "Babysitting Blues", which not only the owner but all the customers get into. Finding out that the guy she was seeing, is actually a creep who instead of being sick (As he claimed), was taking another woman out to dinner. She thought it was beneath her to strike back, but Daryl did not. He kicked him in the ass, and his face fell straight into a cake. Having their car break down and have to be towed to Dawson's Garage, without enough money to get the repairs, and without the money can't get home). This is a great scene, because Sara thinks he is Thor (He looks like him), and is able to melt his heart, and he gives them a break on the price. There are about 4 or 5 other incredible scenes that I love in this movie, and there is not one wasted moment from start to finish. It goes without saying I love this movie and although I have seen thousands of films, it cracks my Top 10. Saying I give it 10/10 is redundant.
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On my top 10 list of best movies ever!
mavreports067 June 2005
I love this movie! If it is on TV or I see it when renting movies, I will stop everything at watch this movie. I love the whole idea of the movie! I babysit all the time and the premise is honestly, something that probably could (and I'm sure has) happen to some unlucky babysitter. I was only 3 when this movie was made but it doesn't matter! Anthony Rapp's character, Daryl Coopersmith is hilarious! The cast and characters work so well together. The only thing that I find annoying is Sara, the little sister, but then again I am a babysitter and what babysitter wouldn't get annoyed with little kids when they make trouble. But if it weren't for Sara then there wouldn't be this movie!
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An immensely enjoyable 80's teen comedy blast
Woodyanders6 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Sweet, perky, and resourceful 17-year-old babysitter Chris Parker (a wonderfully chipper and vivacious performance by Elisabeth Shue in her first lead role) and the three kids she's taking care of -- smitten Brad Anderson (likable Keith Coogan), Brad's perky little sister Sara (adorable Maia Brewton), and Brad's crude buddy Daryl Coopersmith (hilarious Anthony Rapp) -- are forced to venture into the dark and dangerous downtown section of Chicago to pick up Chris's gal pal Brenda (an amusingly ditsy Penelope Ann Miller) at the bus stop. The hapless quartet blow out a car tire, run afoul of an international stolen car ring, stumble into an all-black blues club where they are forced to belt out a nifty ditty called "Babysittin' Blues" (a truly great sequence), crash a frat party, and even have a scary run-in with two rival street gangs on the subway. Director Chris Columbus, working from a bright and eventful script by David Simkins, relates the busy narrative at a constant brisk pace, maintains an amiable tone throughout, and gives the picture a winningly breezy and inoffensive quality that's impossible to either resist or dislike. But it's the marvelously vibrant and endearing presence of the lovely and appealing Shue that really makes this movie hum; she's such an incredibly charming lady, with oodles of natural charisma and energy, that you can't help but root for her all the way. The lively acting from the rest of the tip-top cast helps matters out a whole lot, with especially stand-out contributions by Calvin Levels as nice guy car thief Joe Gipp, George Newbern as affable college student Dan Lynch, John Davis Chandler as creepy stolen car ring head honcho Bleak, Vincent D'Onofrio as menacing mechanic Dawson, and John Ford Noonan as helpful hook-handed tow truck driver Handsome John Pruitt. Ric Waite's slick cinematography makes the Windy City locations look suitably grimy and frightening. Kudos are also in order for Michael Kamen's frantic score and the bang-up soundtrack of get-down funky blues and R&B songs. A hugely entertaining film.
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Awesome Movie Award
smee_lia15 January 2005
I think this movie is totally awesome. It captures the worst nightmare of the typical babysitter. And it's good clean fun. It's the kind of movie that you NEED to watch. Ya know what I mean? It's a classic that never got credit. I especially love the part where they end up on stage and Chris ends up singing. It wonderful!! So brilliant. It's a fantastic movie, with a great cast and exception script work. {There were nights, you swear you were born to lose. And you wish your feet were in somebody else's shoes.} Awww...I'm pretty sure Brenda felt that way too on this particular night. All in all, though, it's a superb movie that everybody should watch. I wish, at times, that I had a babysitter that awesomely awesome! :)
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I Love This Movie..
Game_man14 February 1999
A few Years Ago my Dad Bought it for me on tape and I used to watch it over and over I watched it so many times that I knew Every Word in the movie I really Like this movie And I know It's an Old movie But SEE IT!!!! its Good
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Very entertaining film, appeals to the whole family
PChris21 September 1998
Elizabeth Shue (long before Leaving Las Vegas) and Keith Coogan are very funny in this action/suspense/comedy. You understand exactly how these kids feel, lost and alone in the big city. Yet, the humor is always there, to lighten the story. Many of the people in this movie have gone on to bigger and better things, and watching the film, you can see why. A great time from beginning to end!
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What is not to love??
sarahhumphreysdayoff1 November 2004
This has got to be one of my favourite 80s movies of all time. Which is saying something.The characters are great, you've got Elisabeth Shue singing the blues, Penelope Ann Miller and Anthony Rapp with their funny lines and characters, Vincent D'Onofrio as Thor, handsome john pruitt with a hook for a hand, and not to mention Bradley Whitford as the always dirty scoundrel. This movie has hijinks at its best. And probably my favourite beginning of a movie ever with Chris Parker(Shue)singing and dancing to "and then he kissed me". Shue is so good, although hardly passes for 17...but hey what high school 80s movie actually casted teenagers?? Regardless, I've seen it way too many times, and would recommend it to everyone!
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for the genre, it's awfully good
MartinHafer29 March 2006
The 1980s saw a proliferation of "teen movies". About 90% of them had nothing new to really say, starred teen "heart throbs" and were marketed ONLY to younger, dumber audiences. I was in my teens and twenties in this era, but even I thought these movies were awful==obviously I was the correct age but just "didn't get it". Uh, huh.

Many of these movies featured crude and dumb humor, ample boobies (which is odd, considering the audience technically was too young to be admitted to many of these dreadful films) and low production values. As I said before, the movies seemed to be marketed to dumb people. Don't believe me?! Well think back to such films as the PORKY'S movies, Freddy Kruger films, HALLOWEEN, the later ROCKY films, etc. These films truly were awful.

So, with all this dreck, it was nice to see a few teen-oriented films that didn't insult the audience or feature mind-rot. ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING (as well as films such as BETTER OFF DEAD) was a decent film that actually had something to say to teens--and it could be enjoyed by adults as well (what a concept). While the story does have its sexy jokes, teens who know more than adults and silly escapades, it manages some originality and some genuine laughs. It's cute how an innocent little trek into the city results in a long series of unbelievable and dangerous consequences--many of which are quite funny. Give it a try--it's not "rocket science" or Masterpiece Theatre, but it's good old fashioned silly fun.

PS--watch ALL the movie--including the very end. Many times on TV they cut off the very end, but on video or DVD it's there. So, DON'T turn it off when the credits roll.
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A Laugh-Fest All The Way!
Noirdame7924 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is still one of my all-time favorites. I recently bought the DVD, and I've watched it several times since. Okay, it's not exactly realistic, but it's not intended to be. That's the whole point, so don't be afraid to indulge!!! It really takes you back to your teen years, especially if you ever babysat and wished for some excitement instead of boredom. Chris Parker (a marvellous Elisabeth Shue) is a beautiful high school senior who was anticipating celebrating with her boyfriend, Mike (Bradley Whitford) regarding their anniversary. However, the jerk (as the viewers know) stands her up with some really lame excuse and she ends up babysitting for the Andersons, who have a very curious and adorable daughter, Sara, (Maia Brewton) and a teenage son, Brad, (Keith Coogan, grandson of the great Jackie Coogan) who secretly makes puppy eyes at Chris. Brad's obnoxious best friend, Daryl (Anthony Rapp) shows up and wants in when Chris receives a frantic phone call from her best friend, Brenda (a wonderfully comedic Penelope Ann Miller), who has run away from home, only to be stranded at a downtown Chicago bus stations with some really pricelessly goofy characters. Our heroine dares to take the rugrats with her to rescue her pal, and they encounter one outrageous adventure after another. In the process, they blow a tire, meet up with an amputee truck driver, witness an assault, end up being dragged down to a automobile heisting operation, chased by the bad guys, singing in a blues club (one of the best sequences), come between a gang war on a subway, crash (almost literally) a frat party, and discover that Chris's guy has been two-timing her with an "easy chick", and end up at the Anderson's party downtown. And they do, finally accomplish their mission to rescue Brenda, while trying to beat the progenetors home!!! Whew!!! No wonder Chris decides that this is going to be her first and last job!!!! The 60s soundtrack does nothing to hurt the film, in fact, it enhances it, especially the opening track, "He Kissed Me" by the Crystals. (A moment that every girl dreams about). The situations are hilarious, with as always, the charmingly clueless yuppie parents, funny villains, and resourceful protagonists. I applauded when Daryl returned a long overdue favor to Mike in the French restaurant, and the facial expression on Daryl's face on the freeway when they are approached by "Handsome" John Pruitt just takes the cake!!! And that George Newburn, as college guy Dan, is such a cutie. Vincent D'Orinifo's appearance is notable as well. Fun, fun fun! "Oh, gee, Daryl, are you a gear-head and a sex fiend?" A laugh riot!
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Ends up as a bit of a mis-adventure for the audience but there is some fun to had out of the film.
johnnyboyz26 February 2008
The opening scene of Adventures in Babysitting (curiously re-titled A Night on the Town for British audiences) has Elizabeth Shue's character Chris Parker dancing to an old record from the 1960s, as she gears up for a romantic evening out with a partner. It is a scene that perfectly sets the tone for the film: wacky titles, upbeat and likable song, fast edits and happy people dancing as they prepare to be with the one they love. It is a scene that not only sets up the tone of the film but it is also a scene that will come and go; a scene that the film will not revisit or so-much as even reference later on since just minutes later, Chris' bubble will be burst and she will be off down a different path.

Such is the cut and thrust nature of films that rely on cause and effect as their narrative base, it is very rare for a film to refer back to a scene from ten minutes ago because something so drastic would have happened to propel the story into its next situation. I hate to refer to films made since the one I'm talking about but 2005 film Cellular is a good example of a film that presents us with one situation the hero must overcome, before leading into another and then another – all the time not looking back; the closing half an hour of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto is another good example. But then again, I'm a big fan of those two films and whilst Adventures in Babysitting is good fun; it does not hold up as a film nor as a realistic piece of entertainment.

The most frustrating thing that glares the most out of the film, for me anyway, were the inconsistencies apparent within the character of Sara Anderson (Brewton) who is the youngest member of the family being babysat at eight years old; she is also the smartest and there's your problem. Unfortunately, most of the logic in this film is replaced for good excuses to try and get laughs out of the audience. Sara is smart enough to have the dialogue to make us think she is clever but is actually foolish enough to climb out of a window on the fortieth floor of a skyscraper; her imperative inclusion to the story is once again utilised as she is able to overcome the plot point that involves being able to turn a money grabbing mechanic into a good Samaritan; this time through innocence. The third example of Sara's inability to be an 8 year old human being, or indeed the writer's inability to create an 8 year old human being is when, shortly after they have been caught carjacking by a carjacker and are hurtling along to a gangster's warehouse, Sara pulls out a chocolate bar and finds it in her heart to offer some to all in the car – she is not terrified like her brother, his friend and Elizabeth are even if she should be the most terrified.

But then we have to suspend belief to go along with the film's running gag; that these incompetent human beings can get their way out of any jam, no matter how difficult. Elizabeth is a 17 year old babysitter who has jeopardised everyone's situation at the expense of a friend although you cannot blame her; Brad, 15 (Coogan) is a kid who is attracted to Elizabeth and his friend Daryl (Rapp) who is equally sexually active, at least in his own mind and enough to want Elizabeth to rape him. But while these kids can get out of jams such as escaping a building full of gangsters who will no doubt kill them in due course, the film does not elevate itself above that level of: 'here comes the situation, here is the situation, there goes the situation' which is disappointing as there is a certain likability for all of the characters involved. Daryl may think with a body part that is not his brain on more than one occasion but he carries a degree of innocence that just keeps him from being another one of these American teenagers obsessed with women; something that does not work AS a character, IN a film.

But whilst the characters remain inconsistent and the plot remains basic, the actual cause and effect situations are nothing that special either. The carjacker does not have time to deliver the kids somewhere safe before driving on; the kids actually stop half way through their escape from certain death by singing 'the blues' in a music club and they even find time to go to a student party during the course of their adventure. It's not that these events aren't interesting, they are just too unrealistic and heavy handed to warrant good viewing. If your idea of comedy and tension is to have the kids actually stop and sing to a crowd of blues fans, this is the film for you; otherwise I am surprised they did not merely barge through the barrier and continue to escape – maybe they could've even asked for help from the musicians as they outrun the murderous gangsters.

But whilst incompetence would have them go on this adventure in the first place as it is Brenda (Miller) who sparks the journey off, it is incompetence and inconsistency that actually gets them through the journey that matters. The bad guys nearer the end are not waiting for them in the garage despite having the address and would rather follow them to the third act setting than nab them there and then but glaring errors seem to be accepted by director Columbus, embraced even, as these people survive the city streets like cacti survive the blistering sun. It may not be smart nor that funny but the adventure is enjoyable in places, even if you need your brain suspended for the majority of the runtime.
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"I don't think your parents will ever ask me to babysit again."
utgard1413 April 2014
When she receives a frantic phone call from her friend who is stuck in downtown Chicago at night, suburban babysitter Chris (Elisabeth Shue) must head to the big city to help. But she can't leave the kids she's babysitting so she brings them along. The night becomes one big crazy experience for Chris and the kids. Classic '80s greatness here. You take a situation that, in reality, might wind up with a bunch of young people on the evening news as rape and/or murder victims and you turn it into an adventurous lark. Love the '80s!

This is a highly entertaining movie. The characters are fun and well-written. The dialogue is great. It has the feel of a John Hughes movie. Elisabeth Shue is so good in this. It's impossible not to have a crush on her after watching this film. The kids are all good, with Maia Brewton stealing practically every scene she's in. Her love of Thor was a big kick to me as a kid since I was also a big fan of Thor and all the other kids I knew had no clue who he was. The scene where she meets "Thor" for real is one of the many highlights of this film for me. Just a great movie from a great decade. You should definitely check it out.
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Great film. I highly recommend for anyone.
campjdftl6 June 2009
3 things.

I can't believe THOR was played by Vincent D'onofrio - he would have been like 28? He looked good!

Seems so many were lined up for the part of CHRIS (maybe this is how it always works out?) and then the part finally went to Shue - I think she was PERFECT for the part - a real SHUE-in!

For Halloween one year, i dressed in ugly drag, but I had a pretty pink dress on, and a cigarette hanging of my lip. I entered a contest and when i finally made it to the stage, the MC asked what my name was, and this movie suddenly just popped in my head (not really sure why) and i simply said in a gruff voice - I'm the babysitter! - and the crowd went wild! I ended up winning 1st place from about 20 people and that was $500 cash and lots of free drinks! Too funny! I'll watch this movie every time I see it is on TV. If I was the type to buy dvds, this one would be on my shelf.
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Adventures in Babysitting is a good movie.
monkey-man7 March 2006
Adventures in Babysitting (1987).

Chris Parker (Elisabeth Shue) has a date planed with her boyfriend but he has to cancel because his sister is sick.So she accepts an offer to baby sit a young girl and her older brother.As she is looking after them her fiend calls her from the city and tells Chris that she desperately needs her to pick her up from a bus station.Chris then has to drive herself and the 2 kids and and one of the kids friends into the city to pick up her friend.And as they are driving on the freeway they get a flat tire and they have no spear tire.And from there on lots of funny crazy stuff happens to them.

This movie is a good 1980s comedy movie and if you like those kind of movies i highly recommend that you watch this movie.Elisabeth Shue is such a good actress she acts really well in this movie and you should watch her in her first movie The Karate Kid (1984) she is great in that movie.

Over all i liked this movie a lot and my rating for this movie is six out of ten.
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Great and funny movie
wjvdr1 March 2002
As far as teen comedies go, this is one of the best, if not THE best. I saw it ages ago and immediately fell in love with the movie and its characters. Shue and the rest of the cast are simply great. I saw the movie on E-bay last week and even though I'm 34 now (not really the intended target audience age) I just couldn't resist and bought it. Some bits feel a bit outdated, but that does not diminish the fun I had watching it. My favourite scene is the blues singing scene, although I like the gang fight in underground as well, particularly Chris' line. You all know which one I'm referring to. All in all, I can only recommended this movie to everyone who hasn't seen it. I don't need to recommend it to people who have seen it, because they will know what an excellent movie this is.
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