Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Sitter (2012)

Image: 20th Century Fox

David Gordon Green may now be best known for directing Pineapple Express but many bemoan the fact that he seems to have abandoned the indie dramas with which he made his name. The Sitter, his latest effort, will not make those people any happier but fans of the Rogen/Franco stoner action film will also be disappointed.

Noah (Jonah Hill) is an aimless college drop-out who agrees to babysit three young children so his single mum can go to a party. When the girl he’s trying to sleep with tells him she’ll do it on the condition that he bring cocaine to a party, he takes the kids into the city to get the drugs. Naturally, things don’t go according to plan.

There are a few laughs to be had here but it’s the least funny of Green’s comedies to date, which is saying something for those who didn’t like Your Highness. It gets off to a fair start, Hill’s on decent enough form and he’s got nice chemistry with the kids (especially Where the Wild Things Are’s Max Records) but the film runs out of steam far too quickly. Some uncomfortable stereotypes are trotted out and the unpleasantness remains despite some obvious attempts to redress the balance.

The high point is Sam Rockwell’s enjoyably off-kilter performance as a friend-hungry drug dealer with an underground den/gym/laboratory. But his scenes are too few and far between and J.B. Smoove (Leon on Curb Your Enthusiasm) is completely wasted as his partner in crime. A good soundtrack aside, there’s not really a lot to recommend here.

Verdict: Decent performances and a nicely off-kilter turn from Rockwell can’t keep The Sitter afloat.

2/5

JH

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