The Sitter is predictably low-concept
Starring Jonah Hill, Ari Graynor, and Sam Rockwell. Rated 14A. Now playing
Assuming that your only alternatives would be Lindsay Lohan or Charlie Sheen, you just might consider leaving your kiddies in the care of Noah, the suburban sad sack played by Jonah Hill in The Sitter. That thin thread of deniable plausibility is just about the only thing keeping this low-concept comedy crawling forward.
The movie is doubly depressing when seen as part of director David Gordon Green’s gravitational slide. From the talky earnestness of George Washington and All the Real Girls to the mid-budget raucousness of Pineapple Express and the empty-headed Your Highness—well, it’s not a career trajectory that would make most mothers proud. Green’s latest drop on the IMDb ladder, courtesy of talent-free screenwriters Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka, doesn’t give the cast anything interesting to do, but the actors seem to vaguely enjoy not doing it.
In particular, Hill—with that Moneyball nonsense safely behind him—is allowed numerous wisecracking asides in nonsensical situations, and there’s a wild streak to the peripheral stuff that Green throws into the frame. Those are the biggest rewards in a tale that puts him in charge of three bratty kids who are, by turn, celebrity-obsessed (Landry Bender), overly medicated (Max Records), and possibly terroristic (Kevin Hernandez).
The children might be potty-trained, but their mouths aren’t. And there’s more time spent with Noah handing out life lessons amidst the stereotype-laden fireworks involving a crazed drug dealer (Sam Rockwell), a slutty quasi-girlfriend (Ari Graynor), and—most eye-rollingly of all—a supercute astronomy freak (Kylie Bunbury) who is secretly pining for Hill’s size-large antihero, who spends the film’s whole (if merciful) 80 minutes in an ugly blue raincoat. Green may need to borrow that mack when the reviews come pissing down on him.
Watch the trailer for The Sitter.