A college student on suspension is coaxed into babysitting the kids next door, though he is fully unprepared for the wild night ahead of him.A college student on suspension is coaxed into babysitting the kids next door, though he is fully unprepared for the wild night ahead of him.A college student on suspension is coaxed into babysitting the kids next door, though he is fully unprepared for the wild night ahead of him.
As fat boy comedies go, The Sitter is just another caricature-ridden, offensive satire with kids. Noah (Jonah Hill) does much of the politically-incorrect heavy lifting while the kids stick to flatulence, groin punches, and world-weariness to make Noah seem downright naïve.
Noah is on suspension from college when he is recruited to sit for three eccentric kids; Slater (Max Records), a pubescent, gymnastics-viewing, just emerging gay boy; a kick-butt tween, Blithe (Landry Bender), who finds a few too many hotties, including round Jonah; and a very young, adopted El Salvadoran, Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez), who has a surly attitude and a penchant for explosives. The evening, to which one must "make love," or so one of their street friends rhapsodizes, has episodes that mostly allow fledgling writers Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanakato to indulge their fascination for f bombs and stereotypes that mostly hover around or in street gangs.
There is little logic to the sequences that involve oral sex, cocaine, and nightclub naughtiness, none of which the children should be exposed to but which the tubby Noah justifies in platitudes about their need to see the world. As in Bad Santa, the irreverence is amusing and probably filmed not in the presence of the kids.
What saves the film from oblivion is Slater's coming out and Noah's gentle encouragement for Slater to be who he is. It's refreshing to hear the discussion about a young person and to respect his orientation in a film generally without respect for much of anything.
The gang is rife with caricature and cliché, especially when it eventually decides whether or not to help Jonah out of his difficulty with drug dealer Karl (a leather-clad, gold-chained Sam Rockwell). The language and mannerisms of the gang are egregiously stereotyped. But then so is schlubby Noah, a fat boy hero in a fat boy comedy.
- Dec 16, 2011