ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING (A NIGHT ON THE TOWN)
US, 1987, 102 minutes, Colour.
Elizabeth Shue, Maia Brewton, Keith Coogan, Vincent D' Onofrio, Penelope Ann Miller.
Directed by Chris Columbus.
Adventures in Babysitting (A Night on the Town) is a very enjoyable comedy, surprisingly so. It concerns an attractive young girl, Elizabeth Shue (Cocktail, Karate Kid), who is stood up and goes an a babysitting job. Her eccentric girlfriend decides to run away from home and is caught at the bus station and wants, the heroine to come and take her home again. The heroine decides to take the three children with her on this short trip. They get a flat tyre and everything wrong happens from then on. it involves an enjoyable series of accidents including gangsters, having to sing the blues to get out of a club (an excellent sequence), being chased by crooks, the little girl on top of a skyscraper, etc. And, needless to say, they all arrive home just before the parents from their party. Direction is by writer-director Chris Columbus (Young Sherlock Holmes, Reckless, Gremlins). An enjoyable comedy.
1. The title and the irony? A real night on the town? Enjoyable comedy?
2. The Chicago settings, the highways, warehouses, clubs, homes, restaurants, streets? The musical score and atmosphere?
3. The plausibility of the plot, just about plausible and just about implausible giving an enjoyable irony?
4. The focus on Chris: getting ready for the date, being stood up, the request to go babysitting, the friendship with Brenda ? and the phone call? Her relationship with the children, Brad and his being infatuated with her, Sara and her age and her Viking ideas, Darrell and his being smart? The relationship with the children growing throughout the night?
5. The series of events: the phone call from Brenda, taking the car, the flat tyre, the truckie who stopped and had a hook as a hand, his going home, his. jealousy with the man with his wife and chasing her, the stolen car, meeting the crooks and taking the copy of 'Playboy', overhearing the plans, getting up through the skylight, walking along the beams and through the window, running, going into the blues club and having to sing, responding well in telling their story in the blues, Darrell and the encounter with the prostitute, going on the train and being in between the two gangs, the injury and going to the hospital, thinking that Brad was dead, his being alive, the irony of seeing the truck driver at the hospital again, Sara wanting to go to the toilet, going into, the party, the attractive young man and his help, their going to get the car, the garage assistant looking like Thor, Sara, her giving him the helmet and his letting them off the money, going into the restaurant and walking along the streets, seeing the date and the confrontation with him in the restaurant, the pursuit of the crooks, going into the building where the family was having the party, the top floor, Sara on the roof, the crook dangling? The sympathetic help from Joe and his getting them out? Going along the highway, speeding home and passing the couple?
6. The sketch of the characters: Chris as an attractive young woman, Brad as young and brash with the infatuation, Sara as tough, Darrell as obnoxious and getting in the way, a change of heart? Finally getting Brenda at the airport (and her adventures, especially in her fears, her glasses being stolen, her wanting to get a drink, getting the glasses back again, being rescued?).
7. The sketch of the parents, ordinary, going out, the party, the irony of everything happening on the building, Sara outside the window behind their back?
8. The sketch of young men, of crooks, of drivers, of things happening around the suburbs, train gangs?
9. An enjoyable comedy, with a touch of truth?