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The Sitter

The Sitter

Released 20 January 2012
Director David Gordon Green

Jonah Hill, Max Records, Ari Graynor, J.B. Smoove, Sam Rockwell, Landry Bender

Brian Gatewood, Alessandro Tanaka
Producer(s) Michael De Luca
Origin United States
Running Time 78 minutes
Genre Comedy
Rating 15A

Are you s(h)itting me?

With a career path that edges out of sombre Terrence Malick like indie movies to, in more recent years, broad popular comedy like Your Highness and Pineapple Express, David Gordon Green seems to have either (dare I say it?) 'sold out' extravagantly or, putting a more positive spin on it, shed some of his stuffy film school pretensions.

But whether he's saving his paychecks for his next integrity heavy writer/director project or just doing it for the lols I enjoyed The Sitter. Not that I expected to, mind you. I skipped over Your Highness and barely remember Pineapple Express (what was that about again?) but do tangibly recall David Gordon Green's debut feature George Washington, an often hard to watch yet gentle story of a group of children coping with the consequences of a terrible accident in a deprived railroad town. It was memorable largely because of the performances DGG coaxed from his young cast and perhaps here we also find The Sitter's saving grace.

At the film's core bad babysitter Noah (Jonah Hill) and his charges; anxiety laden Slater (Max Records), it girl obsessed tween Blithe (Landry Bender) and El Salvadorian adoptee and explosives expert Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez) provide The Sitter with a warm heart. I'm far from immune to schmaltzy tales where fuzzy animals save the day, troubled kids turn good or an underdog becomes an unlikely hero and, all in all, absence of fuzzy animals aside, two out of three isn't bad. Pair all this with an anarchically trundling narrative including sociopathic gay drug lords (Sam Rockwell), stereotypical Brooklyn gangstas and horrifically self-centred girlfriends (Ari Graynor) and you have a comedy that raises your eyebrows, makes your offence meter twitch and even raises the occasional smile and there you have it.

The Sitter marks the locus of an odd conjunction between Uncle Buck and Adventures in Babysitting contending with something the Farrelly Brothers could cook up from a director that used to know better and yet doesn't end up being a bad trip to the cinema.

- Cormac O’Brien