The Sitter is doing well for itself, landing in second place at last weekend’s box office. The Jonah Hill-starring film features the actor, recently getting a SAG Award nomination, playing a twenty-something slacker who takes a babysitting gig, so his mother can go on a date. Madness and hilarity ensue, and so they do too in the following Top 10 Babysitter-Themed movies, courtesy of your resident Movie Fanatic.
10. The Hangover
What you say? The Hangover?! Well folks, where would that baby be if not for our four favorite, fete-loving friends? And we think Zach Galifianakis handles the babysitting duties best in this hilarious romp.
9. Bebe’s Kids
An animated film based on the comedy stylings of the late Robin Harris. The highlight of Harris’ comedy act was his bit on babysitting Bebe’s kids. The story caught pop culture fire and became an animated film. If nothing else, it’s something to treasure the brilliance of Harris, gone too soon.
8. Uncle Buck
Uncle Buck is the John Candy show and stands out among his best. When Buck hears that his nieces and nephews need a babysitter while their parents are out, the whisky-drinking, poker-playing, cigar-smoking rogue hits the road for his family duty. Watching Candy as Buck, doing his babysitting best, at least as he sees it, is pure joy.
7. The Sitter
Jonah Hill took the babysitting theme and made it R-rated, but still managed to keep the heart at the core of why audiences adore babysitting-themed films. Hill simultaneously manages slapstick comedy and heartwarming moments with each of the three kids he’s charged with babysitting and also is able to firmly sit in the wheelhouse of a character that actually grows exponentially through the film. Check out our The Sitter review for more on this fun flick.
When a 15-year-old (Jennifer Connelly as Sarah) is stuck babysitting her infant stepbrother, she wishes him off to a fantasy-laden and sometimes spooky land where the Goblin King (David Bowie) rules. Labyrinth is a beautiful film to behold, even within the babysitting movie sub-genre faux pas of sending your little brother off to another world!
5. The Babysitter’s Club
For the babysitting world, The Babysitter’s Club is the epitome of film greatness. Based on the wildly successful series of novels, the film follows a group of friends -- who are obviously babysitters -- and their own (to paraphrase another great babysitting movie… yes, it’s coming!) adventures in babysitting. In the film, the titular club decides to open a day camp, using one of their member’s backyards as all the camp landscape they need. Things are much more challenging than expected, and through it all The Babysitting Club learns lessons and lives life like they never had before.
4. Tie: Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead and Adventures in Babysitting
Besides having a slew of memorable movie quotes, such as “Dishes are done, dude,” Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead is a classic babysitting movie, minus the babysitter. Although the babysitter of the title’s… ahem… spirit is present throughout. Christina Applegate added movie star to her TV star resume as the teenage girl who has to grow up really quickly when her parents are away and the babysitter has passed on due to natural causes. Managing her younger teen brother and a bevy of friends -- who expect a summer of partying while the reality of life now falls on her shoulders -- is a tough balance. In Applegate’s hands, the film holds up largely due to her performance. The same could be said for Adventures in Babysitting with its lead, Elisabeth Shue. She comes into her own as a movie star in Babysitting and her night-on-the-town adventure certainly had to inspire the filmmakers of The Sitter.
3. When a Stranger Calls (1979)
One riveting movie that will cause fear in anyone who thinks taking a babysitting gig will be worth it. Carol Kane stars as a babysitter who is leading what she thinks is a normal evening of watching the kids. Once she puts them to sleep, a caller phones repeating the same line over and over. “Have you checked the children?” The film progresses at a fever pitch as Kane becomes more and more panicked as the hours go by and the phone calls continue. When a Stranger Calls is our sole cautionary tale about babysitting!
2. Mrs. Doubtfire
One of Robin Williams’ finer moments, and that is saying something in an Oscar-winning career. Williams is losing his ability to be a part of his children’s lives during a divorce with his former wife. Drastic measures are needed, simply so he can participate in their world. When a nanny is needed to help the busy ex-wife, Williams dons a dress, a wig and becomes Mrs. Doubtfire, nanny extraordinaire. Mrs. Doubtfire is a delightful film in so many ways and will be, if it hasn’t been already, considered a classic.
1. Tie: Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music
Classic films, regardless of subject matter, and both Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music share a theme: A nanny who saves the day and changes everyone forever. Mary Poppins arrives to sprinkle a little magic on her brood and lets us all know that With a Spoonful of Sugar, everything goes down a little easier. In The Sound of Music, Julie Andrews is Maria, a seminary resident who takes the position of nanny for the Von Trapp family. Without using magic, Maria makes magic and helps craft the real life inspired Von Trapp Family Singers and their inspirational true tale.