Advertised as the 100th Disney Channel Original Movie, can you believe there’s been 100 of these television movies from instant phenomenon’s like ‘High School Musical’ and ‘Camp Rock’ to the more character centered flicks like ‘Jump In’ and ‘Lemonade Mouth’. Now, I haven’t seen all 100 DCOMs. Counting them, I’ve seen 50 films from the DCOM library, half of the official 100 canon of films. ‘Adventures in Babysitting’ marks my 51st DCOM and while the ratings were one of the lowest rated DCOMs in recent memory, I was interested in this film thanks to a strong leading cast with Sabrina Carpenter from ‘Girl Meets World’ and Sofia Carson from last year’s ‘Descendants’. ‘Adventures in Babysitting’ is in fact a remake of the 1987 film with the same name which was a hit at the time of release. While I have never seen the original film (I have heard of it), I’m not going into this film with nostalgic glasses. While recent DCOMs I’ve reviewed have been surprisingly good, ‘Invisible Sister’, while others had potential but wasn’t executed to its fullest, ‘Descendants’. Is the remake another good surprise or is it more of a middle of the road flick?
The film follows two female teenagers who have different lifestyles and personalities. Jenny Parker (Sabrina Carpenter) is an uptight, striving for perfection girl, while Lola Perez (Sofia Carson) is more relaxed, and has a more chilled personality with a talent for photography. Both are going for an internship, however run into each other, swapping phones by mistake. So Lola is taking charge by babysitting a trio of kids, and let’s just say, problems occur like food catching on fire.
This film is simple. It’s nothing new or ground-breaking. It follows a standard formula, two girls meet, switch phones, babysit, meet up with goons, getting chased by said goons, and getting back home before the parents do. You’ve seen this before, but does it do enough that makes this film seem fresh or innovative? What makes a road trip movie like ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ is the action and story about a dystopian premise. ‘Adventures in Babysitting’ lacks focus in story.
The acting is solid. Got to admit, the young talented cast in this movie fit their roles respectively well. Sofia Carson is by far the stand-out performance, offering fun and witty lines, to more heartfelt scenes that Carson succeeds brilliantly. While watching this film, I couldn’t shake my mind that she looks similarly close to another Disney star Demi Lovato. Maybe it’s the smile they both share?
Although, there at times when I was getting, well bored, and it just finds itself in a constant loop of repetition: kids run into unknown doors to get away from the thieving adults. And there are times where I was even questioning this film’s logic, like when the kids called one of their parents in a Taxi, why does it read Lola’s contact ID if those parents have never seen her (their the one Jenny is babysitting), shouldn’t it read Lola’s phone number instead, even the parents go further to say: I don’t know this person; then why is her contact name in your phone? Also, for kids who don’t have any money when they arrive at the pizza shop after spending their last $10 on a $12 bus trip, which the two girls bicker for the bus driver to forget about the extra $2, how come Emily goes off and gets herself a tattoo, even though she doesn’t have any money? I’m not quite sure there are a lot of tattoo parlors that have free tattoos. And I could not roll my eyes in disbelief any more than this film brings me as the young police officer that Lola has her eyes on is constantly there to save the day, even from saving her for scalping tickets, then the police officer that Lola has a crush on says it isn’t illegal? Wait… wait, what are you trying to tell me movie, you’ve contradicted yourself, so then why was she arrested if it wasn’t an issue?!
‘Adventures in Babysitting’ is messy, yet has some small character pieces and some solid acting, however couldn’t get past the forgettable villains and an unspectacular road trip adventure.
Oh, did I also mention there’s a rap battle between the two babysitters? Nice way of staying undercover, because that won’t be posted to YouTube the next day.
“We’re no quitters, we’re the babysitters”.