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. My advice, take a pass on The Sitter and wait for this one to release on DVD.