Adventures In Babysitting is a comedy adventure film directed Chris Columbus. The plot sees babysitter Chris (Elisabeth Shue), looking after three kids, however her night soon takes a turn for the extreme when she takes said kids to the city to pick up her friend. From there a series of things go wrong and things go from bad to worse; leading to a comedic misadventure.
Some much of this film rests on the performance given by Shue, if she was bad it would turn out like the god-awful Disney Channel remake, however her performance is in my opinion one of the best of the decade. Shue manages to do kind and compassionate well, you can tell her character cares about the kids, she also manages to be a lot of fun and give you a sense that she is enjoying every single second of being on screen. An example of this would be the blues singing scene, which is a masterpiece in and off itself, plus Shue is actually quite a good singer.
Fun is the word I would use to describe this film, a lot of films are funny or charming, but only a few are fun. This film almost seems like an expertly crafted series of skits that are each great and then stitched together to form one hell of a film. This can be seen with the often-hilarious pop culture themed homages, by favourite was The Warriors esque scene on the train.
Another thing I will give this film credit for is that the child actors are actually tolerable in this film. Normally when a film has child actors, hell even teens, they are annoying, they don’t perform well, they’re distracting, and you can understand why Hollywood gets 30-year olds to pretend to be teens in films. However, Brad (Keith Coogan), Daryl (Antony Rapp) and especially Sara (Maia Brewton), are not only good, but crucially loveable, you warm to them over the course of the film and by the end, you realise that you have enjoyed the time you have spent with these characters.
My one critique of the film would be that some of the humour feels dated and a little out of touch with our modern sensibilities, however on the sliding scale of 80’s offensiveness this film is pretty mild, so that shouldn’t put you off!
Overall, an 80’s classic for a good reason, effortlessly charming and watchable and a guaranteed good time for all!
It is fun.
The homages and references.
The child stars are actually tolerable.
Some of the humour has aged poorly.
Reviewed by Luke