Review: ‘Adventures in Babysitting’

Ferris Bueller meets Risky Business in this teen-dream set in (where else?) the suburbs of Chicago. Chris Columbus weighs in adequately in his directorial debut, thanks to a fresh, solid lead performance from Elisabeth Shue. Yet the film can never rise above the leaden script.

Ferris Bueller meets Risky Business in this teen-dream set in (where else?) the suburbs of Chicago. Chris Columbus weighs in adequately in his directorial debut, thanks to a fresh, solid lead performance from Elisabeth Shue. Yet the film can never rise above the leaden script.

Chris Parker (Shue) takes an assignment babysitting for two kids, the 15-year-old Brad (Keith Coogan), who has a crush on her, and Sara (Maia Brewton), a little brat who idolizes comicbook hero Thor. Trouble starts when Chris gets a call from her best friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller), who had decided to run away from home but had thought better of it upon reaching the bus station in downtown Chicago.

Chris heads down to the city with Brad, his best friend Daryl (Anthony Rapp) and Sara in tow and, in short order, blows out a tire, realizes she’s left her purse back in the ‘burbs, gets a tow from a one-armed man who drives by his house to find his wife cheating on him, sneaks into the car that’s being hotwired by professional car thief Joe Gipp (Calvin Levels), and winds up in the headquarters of a national car-theft ring.

The only party not guilty of overacting is Levels, who gives a sweetly controlled performance in his bit as the young thief with a conscience.

Adventures in Babysitting

Production

Touchstone. Director Chris Columbus; Producer Debra Hill, Lynda Obst; Writer David Simkins; Camera Ric Waite Editor Fredric Steinkamp, William Steinkamp; Music Michael Kamen Art Todd Hallowell

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1987. Running time: 99 MIN.

With

Elisabeth Shue Maia Brewton Keith Coogan Anthony Rapp Vincent D'Onofrio Penelope Ann Miller

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