CPD Classics: Adventures In Babysitting (1987) Review

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Adventures In Babysitting (1987) (aka A Night On The Town in some territories. That title is even worse!)

Directed by Chris Columbus

Elisabeth Shue
Maia Brewton
Keith Coogan
Anthony Rapp
Penelope Ann Miller
Bradley Whitford
Calvin Levels
Vincent Phillip D’Onofrio
George Newbern
John Ford Noonan
John Davis Chandler
Ron Canada
Albert Collins as himself
Lolita Davidovich
Clark Johnson
Kirsten Kieferle

Running time: 102 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Chris Parker’s (Elisabeth Shue) boyfriend cancels their anniversary meal plans so Chris decides to take a job babysitting the Andersons’ 8-year-old daughter Sara (and 15-year-old son Brad, who has a huge crush on Chris so sticks around as well). Chris gets a call from her friend Brenda to say she’s run away from home & is now stuck in the big city (Chicago) with no money & needs Chris to come get her. With Sara, Brad, and Brad’s obnoxious friend Daryl in tow, Chris leaves the suburbs & heads into the city. A night of hilarious high jinks & mishaps ensues! Don’t f*^k with the babysitter…

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Why It’s A CPD Classic:

This movie came out when I was in my early teens and, my god, I loved this thing! I think a big part of the reason why I liked it so much was that I could really relate to Elisabeth Shue’s character Chris. I had a similar babysitting job one summer where the boy wasn’t much younger than me but couldn’t be trusted to look after the younger sister so the parents had me “babysit”. I also had to deal with the boy’s annoying friends (although none were as obnoxious as Anthony Rapp’s Daryl). Oh, and I think the boy had a crush on me, too, just like Keith Coogan’s Brad had on Chris. I was too young to drive, though, so we had no crazy adventures in Chicago. I shouldn’t admit this but… (You know I will! Lol). Okay – I think I wanted to BE Elisabeth Shue in this. We had similar hair, I thought she was really pretty & her personality in this was a lot like mine, and (this is the sad part) I totally got a coat very similar to her “dead grandpa’s” coat that she wears all through this & topped it off with a colorful scarf just like hers. (Should I have kept that to myself?) 😉

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As for the film, I think it’s actually very funny & even a little bit on the naughty side for a movie with the word “babysitting” in the title. It’s probably aimed more at mid to late teens and I think the title may have put those that age off it as it does sound like more of a “family” film than a teen movie because of it. I know this film so well that I’m having trouble on what to write for those who may know nothing about it. Let’s see….

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You already know I loved the character of Chris. I’m from a very small town & I thought it was funny how they took these kids from the suburbs & put them in the big mean city where, naturally, they come across gunfights & car thieves & men with hooks for hands & blues singing & subway gangs & toe stabbings & hookers & spiking Tab with Drano & Thor. Of course! And the whole time this is going on, we’re shown Brenda thinking SHE’S having the worst night of her life stuck at the bus station with a crazy homeless man demanding she get out of his house (a phone booth), someone stealing her glasses, and a run-in with a rat.

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The Anderson kids are good. Sara is quite smart & feisty for an 8-year-old and Brad’s crush on Chris is sweet. His friend Daryl is a typical, horny, annoying 15-year-old boy. You’ll probably hate him but he does have some great funny lines. The car thief who befriends them is totally loveable, there are lots of quotable lines I still say to this day, the “Babysitting Blues” scene is a CLASSIC (I don’t care what you say! It’s funny & the song is so catchy!), and the sweet babysitter from the suburbs taking on two rival gangs on the subway gives us one of my all-time favorite scenes & quotes in a movie.

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Then we also get some fabulous songs: Real Wild Child by Iggy Pop being my favorite. Also 25 Miles by Edwin Starr and a very fun opening scene where Chris dances around to Then He Kissed Me, setting her character up as a sweet, suburban 17-year-old girl from 1987 (nowadays she’d be twerking up against that bedpost). I know this movie won’t be for everyone and a teenager today may just find it silly but I was the right age for it and I’ll always love it. That’s why Adventures In Babysitting is (yet another late 80’s/early 90’s!) CPD Classic.

My Rating: 9/10

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46 thoughts on “CPD Classics: Adventures In Babysitting (1987) Review

  1. A real underrated classic…never gets mentioned when people discuss great 80s teen movies. Was retitled A Night On The Town in some places. Would love to watch again. Great review… and remember|: you don’t get out of here without singing the blues!

    • Yeah, I never hear anyone mention this one which is why I’m surprised that I’ve had quite a few comments from people who also liked it. : ) I should re-watch it now too – haven’t seen it in years! But remember it so well… It was fun doing this review.

  2. wow! what amazing memories u have abt this.

    I loved this movie as a teen also (I was 13 when it came out) and I also wanted to be one of these characters (Brad) and I always had a crush on Elisabeth Shue ever since The Karate Kid (1984).

    Great review and you’re right; it is a classic!

    Love this idea. keep em coming!

    • Yeah – I like reviewing these favorites now because I don’t have to re-watch them! Haven’t seen this in years but watched it SO many times that I remember everything. Glad you like this series – I’ll try to keep them coming. : )

  3. I wouldn’t call this is a classic, really . . .

    But I would call it really good. And really funny. One I can return to time and again and still enjoy. (Oh. As to your coat and scarf fashion sense . . . yes . . . you should have kept that to yourself.)

  4. Happy Friday Cinema Parrot Disco!!!

    1) Elisabeth Shue can babysit me ANY TIME

    2) I’ve never seen this

    3) So you went around dressed like Tom Baker’s Doctor Who???? YES!!!!!

    4) Thanks for posting something!! It’s been a long week without you : (

    5) Elisabeth Shue is also allowed to administer spankings while babysitting

    • 1) Knew you’d say that ; )
      2) Really? I’m shocked. : P
      3) Yep! I knew this movie before I knew of him so, when I saw him years later, I was like “he’s dressed like Elisabeth Shue!” Lol
      4) Been busy & not in the mood. Will TRY to post a bit more next week… : (
      5) Knew you’d say that ; )

  5. a very good movie with a good performance from Shue. I agree that it is set for the more teen crowd, but I was about Sarah’s age when I first watched it. The blues song is a bit cheesy but its still fun. Good review

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