A babysitter finds herself stranded in the big city with the kids
she's supposed to be watching and must get back to the suburbs.
Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
Directed by Chris Columbus
Written by David Simkins
Starring Elisabeth Shue, Maia Brewton, Keith Coogan,
Anthony Rapp, Penelope Ann Miller, Calvin Levels, George Newbern, Bradley Whitford, Ron Canada, Vincent D'Onofrio
If you're looking for a fish-out-of-water comedy about how circumstances can ripple to create impossible situations, then you should go watch Martin Scorsese's After Hours. Adventures in Babysitting is roughly the same movie but with considerably less story and a fairly predictable turn of events. While Elisabeth Shue does put in a fun, likable performance, it's tough to find any emotional investment in the movie. You know everything's going to turn out fine because it always does, and the subplot with the chop shop gangsters was laughable at best.
Chris Parker (Shue) is a gorgeous young woman looking forward to a fun night with her boyfriend, who blows her off. So, depressed, she decides to babysit for the Andersons instead. What starts off as any other night becomes the weirdest night of Chris's life when her friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller) calls her from a bus station pleading for Chris to come pick her up. With no other options, Chris takes the kids with her into the city to get Brenda, and things just go from bad to worse. Through it all, we see older brother Brad Anderson's (Keith Coogan) unrequited love for Chris, a subplot that never gets any resolution and instead has Chris immediately fall in love with the first guy to talk to her at a party. But hey, this was the 80's.
I didn't expect much from Adventures in Babysitting, and what I saw was a decent 80's comedy full of tropes from all the other 80's comedies. Sure, there's a few moments that stand out. Vincent D'Onofrio's minor role as a mechanic who resembles Thor comes to mind, as well as the "Babysitting Blues" scene. Overall, though, it could've been done better and as Scorsese would show, it has been done better.