When plans with her boyfriend fall through, high school senior Chris Parker ends up babysitting the Anderson kids, Brad and Sara. What should be a quiet night in, however, turns into a series of ridiculous exploits, starting when they leave the house to pick up Chris' friend Brenda. Soon, Brad's buddy Daryl is involved, and the group must contend with car thieves, blues musicians and much more.
RELEASED IN 1987 and directed by Chris Columbus, “Adventures in Babysitting” (aka "A Night on the Town") is a teen dramedy about 17 year-old babysitter, Chris (Elisabeth Shue), from the suburbs of Chicago who has no choice but to take the siblings she’s babysitting (Keith Coogan & Maia Brewton) and their friend (Anthony Rapp) into the big city whereupon they have many misadventures. Penelope Ann Miller plays Chris’ geeky friend (at the bus station), Calvin Levels a car thief, John Davis Chandler the main heavy and George Newbern a helpful college dude with eyes for Chris.
I was surprised at how entertaining this movie is. It has the tone of an Indiana Jones flick, but with teen protagonists and taking place in a modern USA city. The Thor element was a unique surprise and the little girl is cute and spry. The protagonists are likable and you can sense the warmth in their relationships, e.g. Brad’s infatuation with Chris.
Unfortunately, the movie fumbles the ball on the female front a little bit. There are quality women in the cast, for sure, but the director never milks these resources for their worth (and I’m not tawkin’ bout nudity or sleaze). Take Shue, for example (who was 21 during filming); she’s dressed in a looong sweater or jacket that covers her figure the entire film. Compare this with her role in “The Karate Kid” (1984) where her beauty is well displayed and tastefully so.
THE FILM RUNS 1 hour & 42 minutes and was shot in Toronto and the Chicago area. WRITER: David Simkins
Silver Screen Partners III, Touchstone Pictures by Chris Columbus, David Simkins.
Stars: Elisabeth Shue, Maia Brewton, Keith Coogan.
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Crime
Keywords: babysitter unfaithful boyfriend misadventure one night car theft suburbanite chop shop homeless man frat party criminal gang held hostage norse mythology aftercreditsstinger
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