5 January 2020 | n-mo
'Project X' with Adults in France
It's not often that one finds a remake of an "alpha" mainstream film that is the superior of its elder but that is exactly what 'Babysitting' is: take 'Project X', age the kids to 30 years old and move the setting from Pasadena to the posh western suburbs of Paris. Here, the characters are more believable, the comedic timing is sharper and more consistent and even the setup and plot, for all their ludicrous mishaps, are far less improbable.
'Babysitting' doesn't try to take itself seriously but the creators are self-aware and the actors have a terrific grasp of the range and depth of human emotion. It's pretty obvious from the get-go what can - and will - go wrong when a Bright Young Thing's best friends show up to throw him a surprise birthday party on the weekend he's been tricked into babysitting for his boss's spoiled but lonely little brat in the family's presumptuous residence. The movie is aware of this predictability and plays on it, but it works because it carries a steady rhythm to the end and even manages to surprise us with its dynamic treatment of the victim family.
If you like this cast (they do a lot of films together, including a terrific adaptation of 'Nicky Larson') or you're into thirty-seconds-to-the-next-joke marathons à la 'Airplane!' or 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' you should love this one. If you have no sense of humor, then please just go away. :)