A to Z Challenge – Adventures in Babysitting

Adventures in Babysitting - PosterAdventures in Babysitting


Directed by Chris Columbus

Quick Synopsis… When Chris agrees to baby-sit for the Andersons after her boyfriend stands her up, it’s hardly the boring night she expected. Chris takes the kids along on an errand to downtown Chicago, but one flat tire leads to an outrageous all-night fiasco.

  • Admit it… If Elisabeth Shue had gone to high school with you, you’d have had a crush on her, too.
  • If you say no, I’m just gonna accuse you of lying.
  • Here she’s playing Chris Parker, a high school senior who’s dating a douche bag older guy who is clearly lying to her about why he’s breaking his date with her.
  • Brenda knows he’s lying.
  • Oh, sorry… Brenda is Chris’ best friend, played by a young Penelope Ann Miller.
  • I guess everyone was young in the 80s.
  • Except for Morgan Freeman. I’m convinced he was born an old man.
  • But he’s not in this movie, so let’s not focus on that.
  • Chris is convinced to babysit for the Andersons at the last minute.
  • Makes sense… her plans for the night are off, might as well make a few easy bucks hanging out at the Anderson house making sure Sara doesn’t skate inside.
  • Brad, Sara’s older brother, has a ridiculous crush on Chris.
  • Who wouldn’t?
  • But it’s kind of embarrassing. No… it’s really embarrassing.
  • But Chris won’t have to worry about this high school freshman drooling all over her because he’s staying the night at Darryl’s house.
  • Sara, if you don’t remember, has a really annoying giggle when she’s being mischievous.
  • I was also gonna say she has an unhealthy obsession with Thor. But if she has an unhealthy obsession, what does that say about me being a Superman fan?
  • When the first Thor movie came out, I bet the grown-up Sara was super psyched.
  • Brenda’s got a less than stellar home life. I didn’t cover that earlier. Apparently, that mostly means she doesn’t get along with her stepmom and she’s afraid of her authoritarian father.
  • Well, she makes the awesome choice to run away from home and runs out of money by the time she gets as far as the bus station in downtown Chicago.
  • She calls Chris, collect, and asks her to come get her because she’s decided that she’s scared and running away was a stupid idea.
  • How responsible a babysitter is Chris, really? I mean, should she be accepting collect calls from her best friend at someone else’s house?
  • Chris panics and decides she’ll go pick up Brenda. It’ll just be an hour.
  • Sara and Brad blackmail her into bringing them along. And Darryl is waiting for them outside.
  • And our adventure begins.
  • From here on, it’s just a series of unfortunate events that plague our little band of heroes.
  • I never understood what was so funny about getting a flat tire. Everyone but Chris seems to think it’s hilarious.
  • The tow truck driver with a hook for a hand (“Handsome” John Pruitt) shows up to save the kids. But that tune he’s whistling is super creepy. The hook doesn’t help.
  • I love how Pruitt totally messes with Darryl when he’s asking questions about his missing hand.
  • Pruitt turns out to be the jealous husband of a cheating wife. His rage knows no bounds, which leads to him accidentally shooting out the windshield of Chris’ mom’s car.
  • BTW… Did you ever notice that when Pruitt pulls up to his house, he knocks over a lawn jockey, similar to the one that repeatedly gets knocked over at the McAllisters’ house in Home Alone? Both movies are directed by Columbus. Coincidence? I think not.
  • The kids take refuge in what turns out to be Mrs. Pruitt’s boyfriend’s Cadillac, which happens to be in process of being stolen.
  • So we wind up in a chop shop. Now they’re witnesses. They probably have to die.
  • It’s probably a good idea for Brad to introduce everyone, first and last names, to everyone in the chop shop. Idiot.
  • Every now and then, we cut to see what Brenda’s up to. I guess we’re supposed to feel bad for her.
  • I’m sorry, but I’ve never once felt sorry for Brenda. She made her choices. So her glasses get temporarily stolen and she pets a rat. You run away from home because you don’t get along with your stepmom? There are consequences.
  • The kids manage to escape through the roof of the chop shop.
  • They might have gotten away without being noticed, but Darryl decided to steal an issue of Playboy with a centerfold that looks remarkably like Chris.
  • Unfortunately, that magazine had notes for a deal the bad guys made.
  • Who writes notes for an illegal business deal in the pages of a magazine? You can get a decent composition notebook for 50 cents, moron.
  • So the bad guys chase down the kids, which leads to a crazy jam session in a blues bar.
  • Because “nobody leaves this place without singin’ the blues.”
  • I know you sing along every time they get into “Babysittin’ Blues.” So do I.
  • They lose the chop shop guys when they get stopped by the blues rule.
  • This gives Brad a chance to confess his crush, giving Chris a chance to crush him.
  • Eventually, the bad guys catch up. I’m curious what they had to sing.
  • The kids escape on the elevated train. But this winds up being a frying pan/fire situation.
  • They’re about to be in the middle of a gang fight.
  • Kids, this scene made it possible for me to hear my little sister drop the F-bomb for the first time in our lives. She might have been five.
  • It was innocent enough, she was just repeating Chris when she held a knife up to the gang leader and said, “Don’t f— with the babysitter!”
  • I have a theory that these weren’t real gangs. Because they’re dressed like they’re filming a music video.
  • Is that how gangs dressed in the 80s?
  • At the hospital, we run into “Handsome” John again. He explains that he got the car to Dawson’s Garage and he paid for the windshield, since that was his fault.
  • But they have to pay $50 for the tire.
  • Next we come upon a party at a University of Chicago frat house.
  • Scouting locations for this movie must have been a nightmare.
  • We’re introduced to a new love interest for Chris, much to Brad’s chagrin.
  • Why do we need a new love interest for Chris if she has a douche bag older boyfriend? Foreshadowing…
  • The new love interest manages to pull together $45 among his friends and then gives the kids a ride to Dawson’s.
  • Dawson makes an epic entrance. It’s really unnecessary the way he lowers himself down on a hydraulic lift holding a huge hammer. I guess he’s going for intimidating.
  • It’s a young Vincent D’Onofrio and he actually does look a lot like Thor: long blonde hair, the aforementioned hammer…
  • Sara believes it really is Thor. And when he selfishly refuses to give up the car for $45 instead of the full $50, it breaks her little heart.
  • He may look like a young Thor, but he’s acting more like a young Wilson Fisk.
  • See what I did there?
  • But she offers to give him the winged helmet she’s been wearing the whole night. If he wears that, she thinks, he’ll remember he’s a hero.
  • Melts his little heart.
  • You’d think getting the car back would make the rest of the night easy… Pick up Brenda, head back home.
  • But they have to run into Mike, the douche bag boyfriend and discover that he lied and is actually cheating on Chris.
  • Then Sara has to get chased by the chop shop trio to the building where her parents are at their party.
  • Then Sara has to wind up impossibly clinging to the side of the skyscraper. It’s all very tense.
  • The others save Sara and leave Graydon (from the chop shop) to “sweat it out” on the ledge of the skyscraper.
  • Uh… that guy’s gonna die. You’re all accessories to, I’m guessing, manslaughter.
  • The carjacker knocks out the chop shop boss and leaves the magazine with him so everyone can escape.
  • Look for the sequel where the chop shop boss looks for revenge. He’ll easily be able to find the kids, since Brad gave everyone in the chop shop their first and last names.
  • All’s well that ends well and the new love interest even shows up to return Sara’s skate.
  • How did she leave the skate in that guy’s car anyway? Why would she unpack anything from her back pack at that point in the evening?
  • Being a Marvel movie, there is, of course, a post-credits scene.
  • Graydon’s still hanging on for dear life.
  • Uh… that guy’s gonna die.
  • Because who would think to look for him outside to throw him a rope?

That got a little longer than I normally do for movies. I’ll try to rein it in on tomorrow’s movie, which will begin with the letter B. Feel free to make guesses as to what movie it could be in the comments! A correct guess gets bragging rights!


Click here to check out how other folks are tackling this year’s A to Z Challenge!


13 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge – Adventures in Babysitting

  1. Not a guess about tomorrow’s review. I just wanted to mention that my mom is in Adventures in Babysitting. Back when she was an aspiring actress living in Chicago. She’s in the “Babysittin’ Blues” scene wearing a sparkly blue dress.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A to Z Challenge – Reflection | The Confusing Middle

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