‘The Sitter’ Movie Review
Yikes, what a grand waste of time. From the opening scene to the closing seconds, there was hardly a shred of hope for David Gordon Green’s newest film, The Sitter.
Yes, it was that bad. One of the worst I’ve ever seen, which is saying a lot. This is your warning to leave before a whole lot of negativity.
In a weekend filled with new releases, only two films made the cut for wide release, and it unfortunately shows the state of cinema in America. Spy thrillers, powerful tragedies, and acclaimed directors somehow got films downgraded to limited release, while both The Sitter and New Year’s Eve hit theaters near you.
While I made the decision to see one over the other, I can’t help but regret it. It’s not like Green hasn’t had success before, since his Pineapple Express hit a cord with “alternative” lifestyles, and it was genuinely funny. At the least, it was enjoyable.
The same cannot be said for The Sitter the story of down-and-out loser Noah (Jonah Hill) who gets guilt tripped into babysitting three problematic children for his mother’s friend. While the parents are out having fun, Noah must run “errands” for his sort-of girlfriend Marisa (Ari Graynor). Forced to take the kids with him, he starts to run into problems, which snowballs into a truly catastrophic situation. Noah and the kids end up parading around New York City trying to fix all of their problems before bedtime.
This picture is bound to fail because it can’t find its niche. Where Pineapple Express was easily directed at one crowd, The Sitter has no discernable audience. The film centers around Hill, yes, but it also relies on the children, and with its R-rated raunchy comedy, no child should ever see this film. It shouldn’t appeal to the young adult demographic either because, like I just said, it centers around children. Therefore, it’s stuck in limbo, which could explain the seven other people in the theater with me.
The audience problem could be fixed with word-of-mouth, though. If the film reached high acclaim, or even decent acclaim, word would spread and people would fill the theater. However, the film fails miserably to create a single character or line of dialogue that is genuine. It seems harsh, but I can honestly think of one other sensible character throughout the whole thing. And, incidentally, I literally can think of only one line that is even remotely comical.
To Jonah Hill’s credit, I don’t necessarily blame him for the result. Although I found his character to be absurd, this isn’t a knock on him. He did what he could with what he had. I also blame the trailers a bit for ruining some of the better moments in the film. Outside of the trailer, there is barely anything worth watching.
It’s a complete mess.
Personally, the problem with the film reaches even deeper. With a budget upwards of $25 million, this could be, dollar-for-dollar, one of the worst films made. There are some truly awful films out there, but you don’t see many with this kind of money behind it. Usually these films are highly independent, experimental ones made on thousands of dollars. I can’t help but shake my head at the incompetence, which stretches from lame premise to terrible writing to mediocre performances.
There are two reasons for the Holiday movie push. One, movies released later are fresher in the minds of Awards show voters. Second, people tend to see more movies around this time of year. I can’t imagine the timing strategy for this film. Then again, I have made it pretty clear I don’t understand much about this film.
Do yourself a favor: keep the $10+ to see this movie and save it for the holidays. It’ll be better for you and hopefully Hollywood. I don’t mean to attack the people involved in this film, but I can’t help but feel exploited by the genre and timing of the release. It’s better left unseen.