Before Jonah Hill was in and Oscar nominated for Moneyball he had forged a career being the big guy in raunchy comedies. Now everything has changed…kinda. He has shed quite a bit of weight and is for all intents and purposes slim and the view of his acting skills has changed quite a bit since the Oscar nomination. If the new Jonah Hill makes you uncomfortable then relax as this is a film that will make you totally comfortable. Jonah is large and the film is crass and crude comedy.
College is thought to be the time where young adults discover themselves and what they want to do in life. Noah Griffith (Jonah Hill – Superbad, 21 Jump Street) is having a harder time than most with this phase of his life. He has been suspended from college and is living with his mother (Jessica Hecht – Sideways, Dan in Real Life) in the suburbs of New York. Disillusioned about his lack of direction in life she encourages Noah to get up off the couch and take a job babysitting the kids of a friend of hers (Erin Daniels – from television’s The L Word). Noah agrees, but only as a favour to his mother as Dr. (D.W. Moffett – Traffic, Falling Down) and Mrs. Pedulla are going along with her to a party to get her to meet a doctor.
The Pedullas have two biological kids, Slater (Max Records – The Brothers Bloom, Where the Wild Things Are) and Blithe (Landry Bender – first film), and an adopted son, Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez). What seems like a simple job turns into quite a hectic evening.
The chaos ball starts a rolling when his sort of girlfriend, Marisa (Ari Graynor – Mystic River, What’s Your Number?), a girl who just uses Noah for oral sex, calls him from a party. She wants Noah to bring her some drugs and promises to actually sleep with him if he does this. Despite the fact that it is dangerous and he is supposed to be watching the kids, Noah agrees. First stop is Marisa dealer, Karl (Sam Rockwell – The Green Mile, Iron Man 2). They all pile into the Pedulla’s minivan, even though Noah is not supposed to be driving, and hit the road to New York City.
Mishap after mishap (some caused by Noah and some by the kids) happens and Noah is up to his eyeballs in trouble. Including being on the run from the crazed drug dealer. Noah certainly is not your typical babysitter. What a guy will do for a little extra money and sex!
I did not find much to laugh at and this is supposed to be a comedy. The kids in it are not particularly cute. Plus there was not really anything original about the story. I’m looking for any sort of value in The Sitter and having a lot of trouble finding any redeeming qualities. It is filled with tired stereotypes, lackluster comedy, a mediocre premise, and without direction. Which is quite sad because Jonah Hill is usually quite likable in whatever he has been in up until this point. There is really no one to blame but Hill as he is the “star” of the film and also its executive producer.
On second thought, the film’s director has a spotty record. David Gordon Green has made a couple of strong films (All the Real Girls, Undertow, George Washington) as well as a couple of duds (Pineapple Express, Your Highness). Now that I look at the dud list they are both comedies. Hmmm…I think I have found someone else to blame for this mess.
-Jonah the Producer