The Sitter (2 stars)

The Sitter

Zippy but unappealing sub-Apatow comedy starring Jonah Hill

(15) 81min

After springing to stardom in Superbad, Jonah Hill gets his first lead role in The Sitter, an amiable low-brow comedy from director David Gordon Green which throws Hill’s laid-back slacker persona into a similar underworld of criminal hijinks as that of Green’s biggest hit to date, Pineapple Express.

Hill plays Noah Griffith, a work-shy student whose mother persuades him to babysit for three children to allow her to go on a date. Noah hopes that cerebral but sexually confused Slater (Max Records), precocious Blithe (Landry Bender), and adopted rebel Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez) will take a back seat in his minivan but they all end up on the city streets, tangling with various drug mafia types (namely Sam Rockwell and Method Man).

Casting the passive-aggressive Hill as an irresponsibly bad babysitter ensures a few laughs, and the commendably brief 81-minute running time doesn’t let the plotting sag. But for Hill, so effective as Brad Pitt’s foil in Moneyball, The Sitter feels like treading water; his likable persona is pretty much all that Green’s film has to offer other than contrived gangland situations and the same kind of heavy-handed moralising that’s a regrettable staple of the sub-Judd Apatow comedy genre.

The Sitter Feature Red Band Trailer

The Sitter

  • 2 stars
  • 2011
  • US
  • 1h 21min
  • 15
  • Directed by: David Gordon Green
  • Written by: Brian Gatewood, Alessandro Tanaka
  • Cast: Jonah Hill, Ari Graynor, Max Records
  • UK release: 20 January 2012

Noah (Hill) is a lazy student who babysits three children so that his mother can go on a date, but the kids take to the streets. Casting the passive-aggressive Hill as a bad babysitter ensures a few laughs, but otherwise the film consists of contrived gangland hijinks and heavy-handed moralising.

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