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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 17, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Accent

‘The Sitter’: Stoner comedy doesn’t sit well

To satisfy a lazy night out, “The Sitter,” at a base level, offers enough disposable laughs to fit the template of recent “stoner” comedies.

Jonah Hill plays college dropout, Noah, who reluctantly takes a job babysitting three eclectic kids. But with the prospect of sex with his girlfriend, Marisa (Ari Graynor), Noah decides to take the kids with him to a party, stopping to buy cocaine for Marisa. When one kid steals a plaster egg containing $10,000 worth of blow, Noah finds himself in jeopardy.

At 81 minutes, “The Sitter” is hardly a crime against humanity, but its plot is incongruous, and its characters are underdeveloped and unrelatable. The more time the audience spends with Noah, the more of an irredeemable mess he becomes. What prevents “The Sitter” from falling to total pieces is that virtually the entire cast seems equally morally bankrupt.

And yet, as poorly constructed as the script and characters are, there is an element of satisfaction derived from how chaotic the narrative gets. David Gordon Green, who directed “Your Highness” and “Pineapple Express,”  seems to be developing a track record of films that largely rely on humor for people who are either high, or merely subscribe to the lowest common denominator. “The Sitter” is so extreme, it could very well be seen as a parody of the films that aim for the same kinds of laughs.

“The Sitter” was directed by David Gordon Green and written by Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka.

2 out of 4 stars.