Opening this week we have a sort of remake and a sort of sequel. We get Jonah Hill’s The Sitter and Director Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve. Sort of is a good term because neither is associated with another movie directly, but in reality they both are. Hill’s movie isn’t exactly a blatant rip off of Adventures in Babysitting nor is Marshall’s a direct sequel to his Valentine’s Day, but both films borrow heavily from both movies. Let’s start with Jonah’s movie.
Jonah plays Noah, a slacker for lack of a better word who lives at his mom’s, has no real job, but somehow has a hot girlfriend (in a way). Noah’s mom is getting set up on a double date situation, but the friend setting her up might have to cancel last minute because her babysitter fell through. Noah’s mom convinces him to watch the kids in order for her to meet this mystery man.
Noah heads over to watch the kids, a young girl who wants to be like Paris Hilton and talks hip hop and Valley girl, a young boy with crippling anxiety and is on meds, and a young boy who was adopted from a Spanish country. When Noah’s somewhat girlfriend calls him because she finally wants to sleep with him, he must take the kids through a bunch of obstacles in order to hook up with his hot girlfriend. Of course the hilarity ensues, if you want to call it hilarity. Noah runs into a drug dealer when his girlfriend wants cocaine and when some coke goes missing, the drug dealer (played by the usually fantastic Sam Rockwell) is now after Noah. The minivan Noah took without asking from the home goes missing and he tracks it down to a not so nice area of town where he runs into rapper Method Man and his crew. The Spanish boy likes to drop firecrackers down the toilet causing chaos wherever he is and he likes to run away. Of course through the movie Noah learns his girlfriend isn’t worth his time or effort and maybe an old friend is worth paying attention to. There’s some other side stories, but they really aren’t worth talking about.
This was one of Jonah Hill’s last movies were he was still rather overweight. Seeing him now with the weight loss and seeing him in the movie is kinda odd and almost seems like two different people. Why am I talking about this? Because there really isn’t much to say about the film. If the idea sounds similar to the 1980’s Elisabeth Shue film, you’re right it’s quite similar minus a Thor helmet. I guess this film does have some heart and people seem to learn lessons in the end, but it is nowhere near as funny as director David Gordon Green’s big hit The Pineapple Express. The Spanish kid is just a walking stereotype and well so aren’t the other two kids. The film seems excessively vulgar and profane for no real reason. It doesn’t really add much laughter to it and the film probably would have been better if it took some of it out and went PG-13 and added more heart or depth. There are a few laughs, but there’s a reason this isn’t competing against the big comedies of the summer. I guess some people find the white kid doing hip hop slang funny and maybe it was 15 years ago, but today it’s just stupid, know what I’m saying? Yeah exactly, stupid.
Up next is Garry Marshall’s New Year’s Eve or Valentine’s Day 2 because that’s really what it is. 4000 of Hollywood’s finest star in the film about New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Ok maybe 4000 isn’t accurate, but it’s probably close to 30 with the random cameos. Marshall did Valentine’s Day with 30 Hollywood celebrities and multiple storylines with some of them interacting in the end and well guess what? Yup he did again, but this time it’s for New Year’s Eve. So for those keeping score, here’s part of the run down.
Michelle Pfeiffer plays a shy, mousey secretary who quits her job to finish her resolutions she made a year ago. She gets help from Zac Efron who plays a messenger who she promises tickets to the hottest party that night if he completes the list with her. You have Ashton Kutcher who hates the holiday stuck in an elevator with Glee’s Lea Michele who needs to get out to back up Jon Bon Jovi who is playing the big party being held by Josh Duhamel which is catered by Katherine Heigl and Sofia Vergara. Seth Meyers and Jessica Biel want to have their baby at midnight in order to win money. Robert De Niro is dying in the hospital and Halle Berry’s his nurse. Sarah Jessica Parker is trying to control her daughter Abigail Breslin. And the ball won’t drop unless Hilary Swank can get it fixed because she’s running the department in charge of the big lit up ball. Add Common, Penny Marshall, Ludacris, Ryan Seacrest as himself, Where’s Waldo, Bigfoot, I might be in it and you get New Year‘s Eve. I’m kidding about the last 3, but you get the picture.
So yeah, probably 10 storylines could have been cut. Fifteen celebrities were unnecessary. The two people who end up together at the end is just ridiculous and implausible. Add in that there are continuity goofs like some hats and glasses saying 2011 and NOT 2012 and that a bus or cab has an ad for the TV show The Cape which was cancelled months ago and you get a rather unwatchable movie.
I don’t get these kinds of movies. I didn’t like the first one and this one seemed worse if possible. You watch the movie just to see who is in it not because it adds anything to the storyline at all. In all honesty, if this movie is a hit, I really hope the Mayans are right and we all die in 2012 because I don’t want to live in a world where this movie is acceptable entertainment that people enjoy. This movie is a walking cliché wrapped in a stereotype. Vergara’s character is nothing, but a stereotypical Spanish woman talking in broken English and trying to get men’s attention. Every plot “twist” you can see a million miles away and almost dumbs down the audience. Stuff like this should not be acceptable filmmaking. When De Niro started talking like he was in The Deer Hunter, I literally cringed in my seat and tried to block my eyes and ears. De Niro’s character almost made Al Pacino rapping in Jack & Jill less devastating. I walked out of this movie with a bunch of A words in mind: awful, abysmal, atrocious, abomination. That’s what this movie is, it is an abomination of film.
If you really want to go to the cinema this weekend, go see The Muppets or The Descendants if you haven’t seen either. Neither one of these is worth your money or time. Maybe The Sitter is a rental, but New Year’s Eve can wait till it hits F/X or E! on New Year’s Eve 2013.