adventures in babysitting, elizabeth shue, 80s movies, bad movies

I Just Watched Adventures In Babysitting For The First Time Ever

adventures in babysitting, elisabeth shue, anthony rapp, poster, movie
The image every ’80s kid remembers from thousands of video store trips.

Yeah, yeah, I know, every ’80s kid loves the line “Don’t fuck with the babysitter.”

But for some weird reason, we didn’t really do contemporary movies when I was growing up, so the staples of my peers’ media diet were all absent from my childhood, and that includes the 1987 movie Adventures in Babysitting, possibly one of the most important movies ever made for actual babysitters who are now of an age where they hire babysitters of their own.

I mentioned recently that I’d never seen the movie while I was Twitch streaming a game, and everyone in the chat room freaked out, so I figured it’s probably time to give it a go. So, okay, I’m hitting play on Netflix to see what all the fuss is about.

00:00:01 – First impression: this movie starts a bit like Crossroads, the Britney Spears movie. The hero is a misunderstood teen singer!

00:00:30 – But ugh, this music — “Then He Kissed Me” by the Crystals? It’s a lovely song, but what ’80s teenager was listening to the pop songs of their parents?

00:01:40 – Or maybe I’m misunderstanding everything about this movie. Is Elisabeth Shue a 30-year-old divorcee? Her boyfriend appears to be a middle-aged CPA.

elizabeth shue, bradley whitford, adventures in babysitting, chris columbus
Elisabeth Shue’s allegedly-teenage boyfriend, played by Bradley Whitford, who was 28 years old at the time.

00:03:00 – Okay, she has one of those big-glasses messy-hair friends who probably has a lot of funny hats at home. What was this character archetype in the ’80s? Why was this the female sidekick of the decade?

00:04:00 – We have now met the character of Brad, who judging from the hair is a shy lesbian with acne.

00:06:20 – Brad’s little sister Sarah is the world’s biggest fan of Marvel Comics’ Thor. She’s been using Brad’s Clearasil to make a picture of her hero — and then Brad accuses Thor of being a homo. It would be another 30 years before we would learn that he really is gay.

00:15:00 – Anthony Rapp is in this movie! He looks like Rupert Grint, and just asked Elisabeth Shue to rape him. Comedy!

00:16:00 – There are so many Thor references in this film. I want to see it recut to be a trailer for an actual Thor movie with the little girl playing Thor.

thor, adventures in babysitting, chris columbus, marvel comics
This shot contains maybe five percent of all the Thor crap in this movie.

00:18:00 – The dilemmas of this film revolve around checkbooks and an inability to reach people on the telephone, so mostly it’s about what a pain it was to be alive in the 1980s.

00:29:00 – Everyone in this film is terrified of cities. And with good reason! It takes place in some alternate reality where the suburbs are safe and the urban areas are packed to bursting with monsters. It’s also where all the people of color are. It’s… kinda racist.

00:41:30 – “Nobody leaves this place without singing the blues,” says one of the only interesting people in the film. Luckily, they have Broadway star Anthony Rapp with them.

00:52:00 – They have been accosted by rival subway gangs/dance troupes. Sadly, they are interrupted before an actual fight and/or dance can break out.

beat it, michael jackson, adventures in babysitting, elizabeth shue
We’re just glad the “Beat It” extras were able to find work after 1982.

00:57:00 – Everyone’s pupils in this movie are huge! Were they all stoned? Even the little girl seems dilated. What was in the craft services brownies?

00:58:00 – Now they’re at a frat party. Everyone is dressed like a parent and a white blues band is playin, you know, like you always hear at college parties.

dad frat, adventures in babysitting, elisabeth shue, chris columbus
Phi Dadda Theta had a huge presence at Honky University

01:21:00 – They’ve snuck into the parents’ office building party. It is glowing with pastels and plastic plants and looks kind of like a random hallway on the Enterprise.

01:32:00 – Anthony Rapp just declared this “the greatest night of my life,” while glancing lovingly at Brad, then adding, “so far.” I wonder how much sex was happening between takes of this film.

brad, adventures in babysitting, anthony rapp, chris columbus
“Oh, Brad, we’ll have plenty of greatest-nights-of-our-lives soon, won’t we?”

Welp, there we have it, the adventure is over! And we have learned so much, by which I mean, we have not learned much of anything. But some white kids got to run away from some black people, so that was great.