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December 22, 2011
Review - " The Sitter "  -  (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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The Sitter
Directed by: David Gordon Green
Starring: Jonah Hill, Sam Rockwell, Ari Graynor, Miriam McDonald, Max
Records, J.B. Smoove

I like Jonah Hill. I'm a fan. I like his brand of lovable loser comedy. I
liked him in Superbad, I liked him in Knocked Up. I liked him in
Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Invention of Lying, Funny People and
Moneyball. I even liked him in the unlikable Get Him to the Greek. So I
was really looking forward to The Sitter. It looked like it had a great
premise, but it failed miserably.

The Sitter is your typical nerd story. A nerdy, not so popular but nice
guy is taken advantage of by the beautiful popular girl. The nerd, in
this case Noah (Jonah Hill), comes to realize he is being used,
shedding his disillusionment he begins to value himself and finds a girl,
who also happens to be beautiful, that values him for who he is.
Sounds like we have seen this before, and we have, only executed
much better.

The Sitter, as emphasized in its red-band trailer campaign, is a
downright raunchy boundary pushing comedy, or is it? I am a fan of
Jonah Hill’s, and the thought of him cast in an no-holds-barred-
raunchy-comedy with the backdrop of the story being babysitting
seems incredibly wrong in just the right way. For me, this film had its
appeal being released in the midst of awards season when my brain
could use a break from intellectually driven films. Imagine my
disappointment to learn  that director David Gordon Green (Pineapple
Express) tries to slip in a heartwarming story of acceptance in the
middle of my raunchy comedy fest.
Sure, The Sitter’s opening scene sets the film up to be boundary pushing — Hill is shown pleasuring his girlfriend, Ari
(Marisa Lewis) — but as the first act progresses it is clear that it is all just a sham. Noah, not only nerdy, but also lazy as it
turns out, makes the ultimate sacrifice for his mother, who has single handed-ly raised him after his father found a new
family. Noah volunteers to babysit for his mother’s friends children so that his mother can go out on her double-date. These
quasi touching moments instantly ruin any chance of the film truly being comical.

As far as the raunchy-humor goes, you will too be
disappointed, unless cliche outbursts are your thing.
Sure there is the outrageous use of the F-word by Blithe
(Landry Bender), a precocious seven-year-old. The
stories plot makes use of cliche: drugs, a gay man on
roller skates, African-American gangsters, the
body-building ex boyfriend, the nice-girl who happens to
also be “hot,” the Hispanic adoptee who is simply
misunderstood. Right down to the crazy out-of-his-mind
drug dealer, Karl (Sam Rockwell). They are all there, as
if someone took out a checklist and marked it off as they
were writing the screenplay. The bizarre humor is
sometimes loopy enough to get a "what the hell?" laugh,
but overall it's unfocused and sloppy. My advice, take a
pass on The Sitter and wait for this one to release on
DVD - and then never watch it.