Adventures In Babysitting

(Chris Columbus; 1987)

Adventures In Babysitting Poster

Elisabeth Shue

 The gang

Chris Parker (Elisabeth Shue) agrees to babysit after her "dream" date stands her up. Expecting a dull evening, Chris settles down with three kids for a night of TV and boredom. But when her frantic friend Brenda calls and pleads to be rescued from the bus station in downtown Chicago, the evening soon explodes into an endless whirl of hair-raising adventures! Babysitter and kids leave their safe surburban surroundings and head for the heart of the big city, never knowing what lies in store for them in the night ahead...

This film has most of the classic ingredients. It has a family (Brad and Sarah, the brother and sister being babysat), the brother's smart-alec friend (Darryl), romance, comedy and music. Brad fancies his babysitter and is constantly trying his best for her. The plot is actually almost believable, even though their adventures range from uncovering a car stealing ring, to a blues club to ending up on the side of a skyscraper. All this plus the babysitter has to get them back home before their parents get back. Plus the normal stuff of realising the old boyfriend is no good, Brad does actually get on with his sister Sarah etc. This is one of the more unusual but still one of the better teen films.

So what actually happens? I can hear you asking. Just how many adventures can a babysitter have in one night? Well plenty - it's pretty hectic. When the film starts the babysitter in question - Chris - has decided she doesn't want to do that anymore as she is too old for it. Then her date falls through, so she is sort of forced into it. Just before she gets to the house Darryl is showing Brad a playboy which has a centerfold of a girl who looks exactly like Chris as Miss March. (This is a running gag through the film). The parents are going to a work party down in the city and will be back late. Singing the blues Everything seems normal so far. Then Brenda calls. She is at the downtown busstation and has lost her glasses, so can't tell the difference between a cat and a sewer rat. She's also lost all her money and is getting paranoid of the homeless people there. As she is so frantic Chris agrees to go and pick her up even though she isn't really supposed to take the kids into the city. On the way they have a flat tyre and no spare. They get picked up by a one handed recovery driver who will take them to 'Dawson's Garage' to get a new tyre - which he will pay for as Chris left all her money at the house. On the way he goes past his house and catches another man there with his wife. A shootout occurs, Chris' Mum's car windscreen is shot and Chris and the kids jump in another car just as it is being stolen by a car thief. The thief - Joe Gibb - takes them back to the main base of operation for the car stealing gang (quite why he thought his bosses wouldn't mind is beyond me). His bosses are needless to say not impressed. Chris and the gang manage to escape, but not until Darryl has stolen a copy of Playboy that was lying around. Unfortunately this playboy has important figures that the criminals need. So the rest of the film is basically them being chased from pillar to post and their many adventures along the way. First they hide out at a blues club where they are forced to sing, then they get on a tube train and get caught up in the middle of a gang fight where Brad is stabbed in the foot. Then onto the hospital where they meet Mr. Pruitt again who tells them he took the car to Dawson's and paid for the windscreen but they'll have to cough up the money for a new tyre. From there they go to a college party and Chris manages to get the money off of some nice guy (and Darryl almost pulls). When they finally get to Dawson's they get the car and then Chris spots her boyfriend's car outside a restaurant. She catches him two-timing her and storms out. Meanwhile Sarah had wandered off and is chased by the crooks into a skyscraper - the very same building where her parents are attending a party. A lot of hiding and running around ensues and Sarah ends up near the top of the skyscraper on the outside! After they get her back and sort out the mess with the playboy they then have just minutes to get home before Brad and Sarah's parents do! See I told you it was a hectic night! After all this I would just like to say I loved this film when I was a kid and it is still good now. Go see it!

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