The Sitter may be inspired by Adventures in Babysitting, but it's certainly not an improvement on the 1987 classic. The plot is very similar: a babysitter and three kids set out on a simple mission to get something, and along the way, they get mixed up with a bad guy and have to have it all resolved in time to get the children in bed. But a recycled plot is not the only thing that's unoriginal about The Sitter — the movie feels cobbled together with parts of other, funnier films. To save you a trip to the theater, I've named five movies below that share elements with The Sitter — but are far better — that you should watch instead.
- Superbad: Noah is the exact same character that Jonah Hill played in Superbad: horny, self-centered, and obnoxious but witty. Even if you're a Hill fan, there's no reason to go out of your way to see him doling out the same shtick. Just watch the far superior Superbad to get your comedy fix.
- Go: Sam Rockwell plays the crazy drug dealer that Noah is indebted to after one of his charges accidentally steals drugs from him. While Rockwell is one of my favorite actors, when it comes to attractive but dangerous movie drug dealers who want their money back, Timothy Olyphant has the market cornered in Go as Todd. He has far more dimension than Rockwell's character, and he manages to be threatening in a Santa hat, no less.
- Uncle Buck: Unlikely male mentor? Check. Three precocious charges? Check. John Candy is the ultimate man babysitter in this 1989 comedy. It's believable that Buck has formed actual meaningful relationships with his nieces and nephew, whereas in The Sitter, the kids' issues are shoehorned in, and we're supposed to buy the fact that Noah solves each of their problems in one single night.
See the rest of the movies after the break.
- Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist: In The Sitter, Noah is trying to win over his dream girl (Ari Graynor), who's actually not that cool. Waiting in the wings is the gorgeous Roxanne (Kylie Bunbury), who remembers Noah from college. Sparks fly between them on this one fateful night, but it's hard to root for him to get together with Roxanne when they seem to have so little in common, and Noah is so unlikable. Nick and Norah do all of it so much better: the chemistry, the rapport, and they also do it all in one night, only it's convincing. Bonus: Graynor is in Nick and Norah originating the party girl act she puts on again in The Sitter.
- Adventures in Babysitting: This is a no-brainer. The original film, starring Elisabeth Shue, is an '80s classic that's legitimately funny without having to resort to the kind of juvenile potty humor that's in The Sitter (unless you think it's hilarious to see a preteen kid pee on a floor). Plus, it's a fun one to revisit to see stars like Vincent D'Onofrio and Bradley Whitford pop up in small but memorable parts. But mostly it has a huge heaping of something The Sitter doesn't: heart.
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox