Chris Parker agrees to babysit after her "dream" date stands her up. Expecting a dull evening, Chris settles down with three kids for a night of TV... and boredom. But when her frantic friend Brenda calls and pleads to be rescued from the bus station in downtown Chicago, the evening soon explodes into an endless whirl of hair-raising adventures! Babysitter and kids leave their safe suburban surroundings and head for the heart of the big city, never imagining how terrifyingly funny their expedition will become!Written by
The bus station is supposedly only 30 minutes from the Andersons' house, yet as Chris and the kids are heading there, it has suddenly become nighttime outside although it wasn't even dusk when they left the house. See more »
The title does not appear until five minutes after the opening credits. See more »
The UK cinema version (released as "A Night On The Town") was cut by 8 secs for a PG rating to remove uses of the word 'fuck'. Later video versions were released under the original title and uncut after being upgraded to a 15 certificate. The print UK television uses for daytime showings however is the PG-friendly cut cinema version, carrying the 'A Night On The Town' title - so it can appear on UK television under both titles at times depending on the time of day it is shown. See more »
"Adventures in Babysitting" is an underrated gem featuring a very strong young cast. The movie opens with Chris Parker (played by Elizabeth Shue in a very early starring role) first finding out that her boyfriend can't make their big date that night. So she agrees to babysit Sara and Brad Anderson, played by Maia Brewton and Keith Coogan (both of whom have dropped off the face of the earth, apparently, in the last 10 or 15 years). Sara's kind of a brat, and Brad has a crush on Chris. Brad's best friend Daryl (played by Anthony Rapp, who went on to appear in "Dazed and Confused" and "Road Trip"), who is an annoying wise-ass, also drops by. Things go okay until Chris gets a call from her best friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller), who says that she ran away from home, and is now stuck at a bus station in the city with no money and no way home, and of course she can't call her parents. This prompts Chris to take the kids (including Daryl) on a little trip, and of course, hilarious hijinks ensue.
They have a tire blow-out, and are helped by a mechanic with a hook for a hand. Their car is then stolen, and they go to try to get it back. They're caught by the mobsters running the car ring, and have to escape (which they achieve by walking along a very thin metal beam overhead). But the mobsters catch them trying to leave, forcing them on the run and leading to one of the funniest scenes in the movie: going through a blues club, the singer stops them, saying "Ain't nobody leaves here without singing the blues." So they do, Chris leading, singing a song about their predicament. It's both cute and hilarious, with the others joining in singing back-up ("And we should be in bed!").
The rest of the movie is about them being chased through the city by these mobsters, and of course, there's one funny bit after another, with some suspenseful bits thrown in for good measure. This is all hilarious, but the best scenes are the ones interspersed throughout with Brenda trying to get along at the bus station. Penelope Ann Miller truly steals the show; scared out of her skull, she has to contend with such problems as a bum yelling at her to get out of his "house" (a phone booth); getting her glasses stolen by a bag lady (the look on the bag lady's face when she puts them on and realizes she can see is priceless); a hot dog vendor who won't help her out ("Then I don't have a wiener!" he says when she says she doesn't have any cash); and a jumbo-sized sewer rat she tries to rescue, thinking it's a cute little kitty cat (because she can't see). This is probably the best part Penelope Ann Miller has ever had, and she demonstrates a surprising talent for screwball comedy.
Like I said, the rest of the young cast is great; Shue pretty much began her career here, and Coogan, Rapp, and Brewton (who was also very funny on the also underrated TV show "Parker Lewis Can't Lose", which I'm dying to see come out on DVD) put in funny, though clichéd, parts. "Adventures in Babysitting" is one of those movies that just sounded kind of dumb based on the title (like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), but if you haven't seen it, give it a try anyway; the brilliant gags and the strong acting made it work.
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