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Bad Movie Tuesday: The Sitter

March 27, 2012

It should be called “The rise and fall of David Gordon Green”

David Gordon Green (All the Real Girls, George Washington, Undertow, Snow Angels, Pineapple Express) has gone from Indie directing superhero to incapable of directing a cohesive film. If Your Highness was practice at mediocrity then Green has perfected it with The Sitter. David used to create beautiful landscapes and three-dimensional characters who were uniquely odd. However, in The Sitter he immerses the viewer in stock characters and 7,000 references to testicles and farts.

What Green seems to have forgotten is that you need likable characters to make a movie work. I realize that sometimes characters need to be jerks in order for them to come around. However, when you make them paint by the numbers jerks you lose the audience. When Jonah Hill walks into a house with children and automatically starts swearing at them it is not funny because it is forced. I can understand why a slacker wouldn’t want to babysit brats. However, it loses me when he threatens to punch them.

I’m thinking everyone involved with The Sitter thought the movie was going to be hilarious. This seems to be the biggest problem for comedies. They think swear words, scatological humor and abrasive moments can trump all. I feel like the creators preemptively tooted their own horns. They say the road to hell is paved with the best intentions. The road to bad movie mediocrity is overconfidence.

The plot revolves around Hill going on a journey to find cocaine in order to sleep with a terrible woman played by Ari Graynor. Hill begrudgingly takes the three kids along for a night of cocaine, ball punches and loud noises.

The best part of this film is Sam Rockwell. He plays an insane drug dealer who has a lair full of steroid freaks. Rockwell has the only inspired moments of the movie involving mixed tapes for victims and crying in the arms of a female body builder. SPOILER ALERT: He gets a rather unceremonious ending as his “nuts” get crunched by a gang.

There is a whole lot of ball humor kicking around in this movie. The unluckiest man gets his balls lit on fire while others simply get punched. There is a pivotal scene where a young girl talks about how her dad is cheating on her mom. Jonah Hill attempts to make her feel better by telling a story about how he double punched a guy in the balls. Later in the film she double punches a guy in the balls.

The Sitter is a movie about people doing ugly things. Comedies are not supposed to make you depressed. Not only is the movie bad but you hope that David Gordon Green can escape this mediocre world and get back to his independent roots.

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