Adventures in Babysitting

1987

Action / Adventure / Comedy / Crime / Family / Romance / Thriller

15
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 76%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 70%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 30119

Synopsis


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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by the-jerk 9 / 10

Brenda Brenda Brenda!

"Adventures in Babysitting" is an underrated gem featuring a very strong young cast. The movie opens with Chris Parker (played by Elizabeth Shue in a very early starring role) first finding out that her boyfriend can't make their big date that night. So she agrees to babysit Sara and Brad Anderson, played by Maia Brewton and Keith Coogan (both of whom have dropped off the face of the earth, apparently, in the last 10 or 15 years). Sara's kind of a brat, and Brad has a crush on Chris. Brad's best friend Daryl (played by Anthony Rapp, who went on to appear in "Dazed and Confused" and "Road Trip"), who is an annoying wise-ass, also drops by. Things go okay until Chris gets a call from her best friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller), who says that she ran away from home, and is now stuck at a bus station in the city with no money and no way home, and of course she can't call her parents. This prompts Chris to take the kids (including Daryl) on a little trip, and of course, hilarious hijinks ensue.

They have a tire blow-out, and are helped by a mechanic with a hook for a hand. Their car is then stolen, and they go to try to get it back. They're caught by the mobsters running the car ring, and have to escape (which they achieve by walking along a very thin metal beam overhead). But the mobsters catch them trying to leave, forcing them on the run and leading to one of the funniest scenes in the movie: going through a blues club, the singer stops them, saying "Ain't nobody leaves here without singing the blues." So they do, Chris leading, singing a song about their predicament. It's both cute and hilarious, with the others joining in singing back-up ("And we should be in bed!").

The rest of the movie is about them being chased through the city by these mobsters, and of course, there's one funny bit after another, with some suspenseful bits thrown in for good measure. This is all hilarious, but the best scenes are the ones interspersed throughout with Brenda trying to get along at the bus station. Penelope Ann Miller truly steals the show; scared out of her skull, she has to contend with such problems as a bum yelling at her to get out of his "house" (a phone booth); getting her glasses stolen by a bag lady (the look on the bag lady's face when she puts them on and realizes she can see is priceless); a hot dog vendor who won't help her out ("Then I don't have a wiener!" he says when she says she doesn't have any cash); and a jumbo-sized sewer rat she tries to rescue, thinking it's a cute little kitty cat (because she can't see). This is probably the best part Penelope Ann Miller has ever had, and she demonstrates a surprising talent for screwball comedy.

Like I said, the rest of the young cast is great; Shue pretty much began her career here, and Coogan, Rapp, and Brewton (who was also very funny on the also underrated TV show "Parker Lewis Can't Lose", which I'm dying to see come out on DVD) put in funny, though clichéd, parts. "Adventures in Babysitting" is one of those movies that just sounded kind of dumb based on the title (like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), but if you haven't seen it, give it a try anyway; the brilliant gags and the strong acting made it work.

Reviewed by LebowskiT1000 10 / 10

Just a FUN movie!

Why does this movie have such a low rating on this site? This is such a good movie! Ok, I'll admit, the story is pretty odd, but it's still very good, and it's a great adventure.

All the actors do a great job in the film. Elizabeth Shue looks as beautiful as ever and does a great job as Chris Parker. Keith Coogan does a great job as well. Other notable cast members are Vincent D'Onofrio, Penelope Ann Miller, Geroge Newbern, Bradley Whitford, and Lolita Davidovich. Also, I have to hand it to director Chris Columbus, he did a superb job with this film. Amazingly enough, this was his first directorial effort too. Good job Chris! It's always good to see where directors come from, if you didn't know, he went on to do "Home Alone", "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York", "Mrs. Doubtfire", "Bicentennial Man", and "Harry Potter: The Sorcerer's Stone", just to name a few.

There are so many good things about this film! This movie's got action, adventure, and comedy. The comedy in the film is absolutely fantastic! There are a few scenes that crack me up just thinking about them. ...And there are a great number of quotable lines that everyone that has seen this movie will remember.

Anyhow, I strongly suggest you see this film! I really hope that you enjoy the film if you haven't seen it already. Thanks for reading,

-Chris

Reviewed by jhaggardjr 10 / 10

This is one awesome movie!

"Adventures in Babysitting" is a movie that I'll never forget. One of the reasons why this film is so memorable is because of the Chicago locations. For the past 25 years or so there have been lots of good movies shot in and around Chicago (as well as the suburbs) such as "Risky Business", "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", and "The Fugitive" just to name a few. But "Adventures in Babysitting" is probably my favorite movie to be made in Chicago. I saw this movie when it first came out in the summer of 1987 (a year after "Ferris Bueller" which "Adventures" bares somewhat of a resemblence to) and while I was watching the film it felt to me like I was part of the adventure. Today, this is still a very entertaining picture, and a lot of fun. Elisabeth Shue is terrific in her first leading role as Chris Parker, a 17-year-old high school senior who prepares for a big date with her boyfriend at the beginning of the film. But he cancels the date, and since she's now free for the night, she's asked to babysit for the Anderson kids. She agrees. Once she gets over there, she gets a frantic phone call from her best friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller) who's run away from home and is now stranded at a bus station in downtown Chicago. Terrified after witnessing a shooting, Brenda asks Chris to pick her up because she blew all her money on the cab ride to the bus station. Hesitant, Chris has no choice but to take the two Anderson kids Sara (Maia Brewton) and Brad (Keith Coogan) with her to pick up poor Brenda. Also going along for the ride, Brad's horny best friend Daryl (Anthony Rapp). Once they get on the expressway, things start to go wrong. Very wrong. This is where "Adventures in Babysitting" turns into a fun movie. The foursome experience car troubles; run-ins with a friendly car thief, a mob group the thief works for (who spend most of the movie chasing the kids through the streets of Chicago), and two gangs on a train; a short trip to a hospital (when one of the kids is slightly injured by a member of one of those gangs); a brief stop at a frat party; a chase to the top of a high-rise building; and a show stopping classic scene in a blues bar. And much more happens as the hapless Brenda continues to wait and wait and wait for Chris to come get her. "Adventures in Babysitting" was directed by Chris Columbus in his directing debut after writing screenplays for a couple of Steven Spielberg produced movies ("Gremlins", "The Goonies", and "Young Sherlock Holmes"). Since this film, Columbus has gone on to direct some of the biggest box office hit comedies of all-time such as "Home Alone", "Home Alone 2", and "Mrs. Doubtfire". "Adventures in Babysitting" was nowhere near as big a hit as those films, but it did modestly well. I would have loved to see a sequel to this. It would have been interesting to see what kind of misadventures were next for Chris and company. Shue, Brewton, Coogan, and Rapp all seem to be having a blast on screen, and I would too if I were up their on the screen. Even though Miller doesn't seem to be having a good time, she's a scream as Brenda (she would later show off some real good acting in "Kindergarten Cop" and "Awakenings"). And Vincent D'Onofrio (of "Men in Black" and currently "The Cell") has one of his first film roles in a very small part as the owner of a auto repair shop (where the broken down car gets fixed). "Adventures in Babysitting" is a movie that's great fun from start to finish and never lets up. This comedy/adventure is awesome!

**** (out of four)

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