All kinds of good reasons to sit this one out

It’s just human nature. If you tell someone — especially teenagers — that they should take a pass on a movie like The Sitter, they’re only going to want to see it even more.

The Sitter

One and a half starts (out of 4)

It’s just human nature. If you tell someone — especially teenagers — that they should take a pass on a movie like The Sitter, they’re only going to want to see it even more.

But there are actually many good reasons not to recommend The Sitter, including the fact that it features a script that strains credulity well beyond the breaking point in one situation after another, that the characters are mostly not believable or particularly sympathetic and that the moral ethos of its protagonist borders on sociopathic.

Still, it’s inevitable that young people are going to pile into the theatres to see it. What can you do?

The movie opens with the sounds of a young woman’s orgasmic moaning as Noah (played by Jonah Hill) performs a sexual service on her recumbent form. When he asks for reciprocation, she’s got all kinds of excuses as she hustles him out the door.

At home, Noah’s lonely mom will have to cancel a hot date unless someone can fill in. Noah reluctantly agrees and is soon off to the Pedulla residence to play babysitter for three youngsters whose varied neuroses could fill a weighty tome on childhood behavourial issues.

Slater (played by Max Records) is a pill-popping crybaby. Blithe (played by Landry Bender) is going through her “celebutante” phase, wearing way too much makeup and finding everything “hot” as in sexy (she’s 8!).

Then there’s Rodrigo (played by Kevin Hernandez), the adopted kid from El Salvador with some serious anger management issues who enjoys smashing things and setting off oversized cherry bombs.

When Noah’s loser of a girlfriend calls to ask him to get cocaine in exchange for participatory sexual activity, he blithely steals the family minivan and takes the kids along to Manhattan to score (with the hope of scoring later, as it were.)

During the ensuing misadventures, Noah gets involved with a crazy drug dealer named Karl (played by Sam Rockwell), forcing him to steal cash at a teenage girl’s bat mitzvah, break into his estranged father’s jewellery store and take the kids into some bad parts of town.

Not exactly role model material.

Director David Gordon Green, who gave us the stoner comedy, Pineapple Express, maintains a brisk pace, hoping perhaps to paper over the outlandish series of unlikely coincidences that occur throughout. At a meagre 81 minutes, the film is at least mercifully brief.

The film’s sole redeeming feature is Hill, who remains a watchable comic buffoon (even as his slacker character embarks on a crime spree in hopes of getting laid).

Moral bankruptcy, implausibility piled upon implausibility, unlikeable characters. All solid arguments for recommending that audiences sit this one out.

Bruce DeMara is a syndicated Toronto Star movie critic.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said the 500 deaths from COVID-19 in the province are a tragic milestone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta hits ‘tragic milestone’ with more COVID-19 deaths

Province up to 500 COVID-19 deaths, adds 1,265 cases

A recent investigation by the RCMP Central Alberta District Crime Reduction Unit led to the arrests of 24 people. (Contributed photo)
24 people arrested following RCMP investigation in central Alberta

Twenty-four people are facing a combined 235 charges following an investigation by… Continue reading

Photo from Town of Sylvan Lake Facebook page
Sylvan Lake communities band together on development plan

Sylvan Lake Intermunicipal Development Plan expected to be approved next spring

Tribe restaurant owner Paul Harris, left, consults with manager Brandon Bouchard about how to proceed under pandemic rules that make it hard for eateries to be profitable. (Contributed photo).
New pandemic rules deemed workable for Red Deer retailers

Stricter COVID-19 reduction measures introduced in lead-up to Christmas

Quentin Lee Strawberry
Man accused in 2019 Red Deer murder will stay behind bars

Quentin Strawberry going to trial next year on second-degree murder charge

Hockey Canada suspends world junior selection camp after positive COVID-19 tests

Hockey Canada suspends world junior selection camp after positive COVID-19 tests

Justice Minister David Lametti responds to a question during question period in the House of Commons Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Liberals to present bill on single-game sports betting

Liberals to present bill on single-game sports betting

Bayern, Man City win to advance to Champions League last-16

Bayern, Man City win to advance to Champions League last-16

FILE - In this March 26, 2006 file photo, former soccer player Diego Maradona smokes a cigar as he watches Argentina's first division soccer match between Boca Juniors and River Plate in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Argentine soccer great who was among the best players ever and who led his country to the 1986 World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity, died from a heart attack on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, at his home in Buenos Aires. He was 60. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko, File)
Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona dies at 60

Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona dies at 60

In this July 1, 2020, photo, Salt Lake Tribune data columnist and Utah Jazz beat writer Andy Larsen poses for a photo. Larsen is a sports writer, but with much of that world sidelined during the pandemic he's been digging into coronavirus data and its sobering implications. So when he found himself with a cache of spare change, partially from his childhood piggy bank, he knew plenty of people could use it. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)
Tweet on spare change generates big money for virus aid

Tweet on spare change generates big money for virus aid

FILE - In this Wednesday, March 18, 2020 file photo, a view of a 'Matterhorn-Express' gondola lift in front of Matterhorn mountain in the Zermatt ski resort, in Zermatt, Switzerland. Restrictions to slow the curve of coronavirus infections have kept ski lifts closed in Italy, France, Germany and Austria, as well as countries further east. But skiers are already heading to mountains in Switzerland, drawing an envious gaze from ski industry and local officials in mountain regions elsewhere on the continent who lost most of last season due to the virus. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP, File)
As season nears, Europe ponders skiing during pandemic

As season nears, Europe ponders skiing during pandemic

FILE - In this Dec. 10, 2015 file photo, actor John Boyega, right, pose with Star Wars characters during the Japan Premiere of their latest film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" in Tokyo. Boyega stars in Steve McQueen’s “Red White and Blue,” the third film in the director’s anthology of West Indian life in London from the ‘60s through the ’80s. The five-film series will debut Dec. 4. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)
John Boyega isn’t going to ‘take the money and shush’

John Boyega isn’t going to ‘take the money and shush’

The Hockley Motel in Mono, Ont., is shown in this undated handout photo. An Ontario motel that served as a backdrop for the beloved CBC sitcom "Schitt's Creek" is up for sale. The Hockley Motel in Mono, about an hour's drive northwest of Toronto, was listed for $2 million today. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Colliers International
Calling all eccentric millionaires: ‘Schitt’s Creek’ motel up for sale for $2 million

Calling all eccentric millionaires: ‘Schitt’s Creek’ motel up for sale for $2 million

Most Read