With a theme of “don’t tell mom and dad,” Adventures in Babysitting was a surefire hit for kids in the 1980s.
Released in 1987, the movie stars Elisabeth Shue in the role of Chris Parker, the lead in a fairly young cast of actors. Much like many other 80s films, this one is up to the child actors to save the day.
As the story goes, Chris’s boyfriend cancels their anniversary date. Instead of spending the night alone, she reluctantly agrees to baby-sit for the neighbors.
The Andersons have an evening in Chicago planned, and leave Chris to care for their pre-teen daughter, Sarah, and pubescent son, Brad. Added to the mix is Brad’s annoying friend Daryl who has a major crush on Chris and manages to follow the group everywhere.
As Chris settles in for a night of cable TV, her neurotic friend Brenda calls and informs Chris that she is stranded in a bus station downtown. Naturally, Chris is her only hope.
Against her better judgment, Chris decides to load everyone into the family station wagon to head to downtown Chicago.
The rest of the film is filled with both wacky comedy and downright impossibility when everyone from car thieves to knife-wielding gangs confront the group.
Except for the occasional vulgarity, Adventures in Babysitting is a great family film.
When Chris gets on stage at a Chicago blues bar you are left wondering, “Why weren’t any of my babysitters like her?” Most of us never had a babysitter like Chris, and in our babysitting experiences, the kids were never like Andersons.
With the film’s unbelievable twists, you can definitely count on some good 80s fun or at least laugh at the fashion.
Besides the fact that video stores usually have 80s rentals at a discount, Adventures in Babysitting is a great film to watch on a cold rainy day with some easygoing friends.
The film represents an easier time when your biggest worry was which babysitter your parents would pick to watch over you for the night, not if the bar will accept your fake ID.
The adventures depicted are the kind that you could only dream of having as a kid, and it is important to remember that, occasionally, there is nothing wrong with being reminded of the earlier times of acid-washed jeans and oversized sweaters.
Michelle Nicoletto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org