Adventures in Nice Guy Sitting

From the famous movie duology of this and Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.

Another trailer from the era of trailer design that was like, “Eh, just tell them what happens.”

I’d assume I’d have a giant crush on Elisabeth Shue when I saw this movie as a kid, but I don’t think I did. It was only when I was watching it again a year or two ago did I realize, wow, Elisabeth Shue is pretty. And she kills it with the eighties style. Whatever they did to women’s hair back then just looked good on her.

I have a nostalgia for this movie, so naturally I wanted to watch it with a friend of mine when it came up on Netflix. We put it on and were kind of horrified. Not to buzz kill anyone else’s joy at this movie, but I was like, whoa this movie is kind of not good.

I mean it’s great to watch and complain about, don’t get me wrong, I just feel like I had some legitimate complaints about the content.

The story is about the Babysitter, who is dating an older guy who is Josh from The West Wing.

Josh drops their big date last minute so she ends up agreeing to babysit Little Thor-Girl, her older brother: The Nice Guy, and the older brother’s friend: The Creep. I’m using “Nice Guy” in the pejorative sense here.

Babysitter’s friend, who I’ll call Thelma (after the Scooby-Doo character), calls her up and says she’s stuck at a bus station downtown and needs to be picked up. Babysitter reluctantly packs Thor-Girl, Nice Guy, and Creep (after Creep does some blackmailing) into the station wagon and goes downtown.

What follows was not nearly as good as I remembered as a kid. Their car breaks down so a scary guy helps them out only their terrified of him, so they basically flip out and run away. They end up being chased by mobsters because of an issue of Playboy. Then end up going to a fraternity party and Babysitter meets a College Boy who is… a love interest?

One thing that I really noticed about it is sort of an element of White Flight crossed with Suburbia at it’s Height. Suburbia is portrayed as this idyllic land, and Downtown is the wasteland of madness, perpetual night, and dark figures. They meet some benevolent people, sure, but the whole time they’re losing their shit because they’re Downtown.

What’s also weird is that Thor-Girl is really really into Thor. Thor is played by Vincent Philip D’Onofrio, by the way. Oh, did you know Thor was in the movie? This is like twenty plus years before the Avengers movie. What six year old girl is obsessed with Thor? Seems so random to the point that I don’t really buy it. But yeah, that’s not a reason to dismiss the movie.

Also Nice Guy is the worst. Wait, Creep is the worst. Collectively they’re just awful. Nice Guy is all about, “I’m nice so Babysitter should love me,” and Creep is just perving out on anything that comes along. Everything that is awful about the eighties boy culture is personified in these two, sort of balancing out Shue’s great hair, I guess. Nice Guy’s arc ends with Babysitter dating a guy he approves of? God I don’t know, it’s pretty dumb.

Oh then they go to a Blues Club and have to sing about the challenges they’ve faced during the night and everyone gets really into it. Only… their challenges aren’t really that bad. I mean, yeah mobsters are after them, but seriously all that’s happened is that their car broke down then they freaked out.

The point is that if you love this movie from your childhood, maybe don’t go back. Leave it their in your childhood. There are like genuinely good movies from this period you can watch instead, like Predator. I mean, it’s kind of the same thing when you think about it, only Predator is a masterpiece of CINEMA.

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