Adventures In Babysitting is one of my all time favorite movies, but trying to describe it is like doing a Stefan SNL skit— “… It has everything: Babysitting, bus people, the blues, cheating boyfriends, West Side Story performers stabbing people in the feet, murderers and a man with a hooked hand named Handsome.”
When her boyfriend Mike (Bradley Whitford) cancels their big date, Chris Parker (Elisabeth Shue) reluctantly agrees to babysit for Sara (Maia Brewton), a precocious little girl obsessed with comic-book hero Thor; her teenage brother Brad (Keith Coogan), who is desperately in love with Chris; and Daryl (Anthony Rapp), Brad’s hormone-crazed best friend. Before the foursome can settle in for another boring evening in the burbs, Chris gets a frantic call from her best friend Brenda (Penelope Anne Miller), who has run away from home but only gotten as far as a seedy bus station in Chicago and is desperate for Chris to come rescue her. Despite Chris’ best efforts to convince the kids to stay put, they blackmail her into taking them along for the ride.
No sooner do they get on the road than they find themselves stranded in the city with only a crazed hook-handed man as their momentary savior. The night only gets worse from there, as they find themselves running from mobsters, interrupting a gang fight and, yes, sliding down the side of a skyscraper.
1. Daryl’s most definitely a latent homosexual.
Its’s clear that all of Daryl’s overt sexual behavior is just a mask for his burdening homosexual desires flourishing in his then formative years, made all the more obvious during his subsequent inability to take the sexual advances of a women at a party to fruition. He was also clearly in love with best friend Brad.
2. The “Babysitting Blues” scene is, bar none, the most cringe worthy cinematic moment in history.
Enough said. Being forced to sing for a room full of, what can only be described as, aggressive adults, is one of my biggest fears.
Also, are we supposed to believe that Blues was ever so popular in the late 80s that in a single night, the protagonists find themselves walking into performances in not one, but two different locations?
3. There are zero attractive, funny and well adjusted men who go to U of C.
If you live in Chicago you know what I’m talking about. The unofficial tagline for the school is, “Where fun goes to die,” so its doubtful the group would have ever stumbled into a university frat party, let alone meet a guy who should be on the cover of GQ.
4. Chris has no shame about asking a stranger for money.
Sure, you can walk up to any guy at U of C and they would, without question or suspicion of mal-intent, give any halfway descent looking women $50, if she asked, but still!
5. “Thor [probably] is a homo.”
Given that he teared up the second Home Girl tried giving him a new accessory. And also, the tank tops.
6. All the drama in the hook-handed guys life was good enough to fill a soap opera, and I would have watched the hell out of it!
Why don’t we ever get closure on Handsome’s storyline? Is he still a fugitive? Who was the guy sleeping with his wife (again!)? What does his wife actually look like? Was she worth all this? Did he really lose his hand the way he said he did? SO MANY QUESTIONS LEFT UNANSWERED.
7. How does one make the leap in logic to scale a building after a small child, in the hopes of pushing her off of it?
The crew members are all just career petty-thieves who not-so-meticulously steal cars (that aren’t even that nice or new?), but then out of nowhere, Graydon, the ring leaders right-hand man, flips over to total psychopathy and decides he’s going to brutally maim a child? I mean, I get that he’s frustrated that he just got his issue of Playboy stolen, but still, risking your life to scale down a skyscraper to kill a child is a sliiightly different echelon of crime than grabbing some rich dudes Bentley.
8. Could the mastermind be any less off putting?
You know, it’s one thing for the group to be leery of a car-theft ring leader, but their fear is slightly more justified when that guy also goes out of his way to be DELIBERATELY CREEPY AS HELL at every possible opportunity. Even when Sara is scaling the side of her dad’s sky rise, and the parents are talking to him, he commits to repeating back everything they say, like its all a personal affront, in that serial killer voice— “The Caterer?”, “The children?”— to which everyone likely thinks (but doesn’t say aloud) “And you can feel free to not instantly make every conversation with you border on eye rape! Glad we had this talk.”
9. She should have hooked up with the brotha’. #RealTalk
Screw the frat guy who wouldn’t exist in the real wold, Car thief boy was kind, smart, and honey— THOSE LIPS!
I like to imagine his backstory, only working at the chop-shop to put himself through college (probably columbia or UIC).
10. Writing your home address on the bottom of stuff you would want returned if lost only works out in a non-rapey way in movies.
Yeah, that one should be obvious. Any guy (you only just met, in a strange city) who shows up to the house of the kids you babysat, after finding out their address, should not be met with passionate flirting and kisses. It should be welcomed with pepper spray and fleeing.
Because if there’s one thing we have all learned from babysitting movies, is that everyone wants to kill us.
IN CONCLUSION: Uh, my point was, this is still pretty much one of the best movie ever made. That’s all!
Nick Moutvic is equal parts loud Chicagoan and Editor-In-Chief of Culture Stocked; A self-identifying sci-fi nerd, Nick is weirdly proud of the fact that he still fits in t-shirts he owned from before hitting puberty, and gets jarringly emotional watching film and television trailers. His book, That Could Have Gone Better, is about his attempts at balancing adult responsibilities with an affinity for 2 a.m. taco runs, and is out now on Amazon and Kobo.