The popular kid lit (and cable series) The Baby-sitters Club [from the book series by Ann M. Martin] comes to the bigscreen as a warm, cuddly and earnest tale of modern youth. Resembling one of television’s Afterschool Specials, it has the snuggly quality of a security blanket.
This particular episode, so to speak, centers on the seven young girls who comprise the title group and their efforts to open up a summer day-care camp for their charges. Because of the large congregation of characters, the story is largely a series of vignettes.
The most serious plot thread involves group leader Kristy (Schuyler Fisk) and her sub rosa relationship with her estranged father (Peter Horton). He’s arrived back in the quaint Connecticut town to pursue a job opening at the local newspaper. He insists she keep mum about his presence.
The picture’s problem is that it is small in every way. Tyro director Melanie Mayron does yeoman work, eliciting perky performances from a predominantly untried cast. She’s slightly less effective with her adults.