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Adventures in Babysitting (1987)

She thought babysitting was easy money - until she started hanging out with the Andersons.

Directed by:

Chris Columbus

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 98 minutes

UK Certificate: 12

On DVD

Country: United States

Elisabeth Shue stars as Chris Parker, an attractive high-school senior. When her boyfriend Mike (Bradley Whitford) cancels their big date, she finds herself with her evening free. So she agrees to babysit for pubescent teen Brad Anderson (Keith Coogan) and his younger Thor-obsessed sister Sara (Maia Brewton). No sooner is she settling in for a quiet evening than Chris gets a phone call from her short-sighted friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller), who has run away from home and is now marooned at a seedy bus station in the city. Under duress, Chris agrees to help and her two charges insist on joining her for the trip. Before they can leave, Brad's equally sex-mad friend Daryl (Anthony Rapp) blackmails Chris into taking him too.

The three children and the babysitter set off for the city, a trip that should only take an hour, but trouble soon strikes in the form of a flat tyre. Typically, there is no spare so they have to depend on the kindness of a very strange tow-truck driver (John Ford Noonan). When he suddenly berserk because of the antics of his wife with another man, Chris and the kids have to abandon both him and their car, taking refuge in another car parked nearby. As that car drives away, they discover that their chauffeur doesn't own it – they are in a stolen car. And from there, their night is only going to get worse as their car-thief friend leads them into the heart of a gang of crooks.

This rollicking family comedy is undemanding but fun, with plenty of action and lots of one-liners. The main players all fit their roles well, and the children do a fine job of providing many of the laughs. With plenty of stunts, chases and occasional slapstick, the flimsy plot is easily overlooked – the story is less important than the action in this film. Although the hair, clothes, music and just about everything else is wholly 1980s, the film remains largely worthwhile because the humour and action hasn't dated at all badly.

Features a cameo from Grammy Award-winning blues guitarist Albert Collins as himself.

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It's Got: Some very funny moments.

It Needs: To be watched without great expectations.

DVD Extras There are no extras with this basic single-disc release. DVD Extras Rating: 0/10

Alternatives:

Back to the Future, Spy Kids., The Goonies

Summary

1980's family adventure that has held up surprisingly well over the years.

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