The Babysitters

Movies Reviews John Leguizamo
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The Babysitters

Release Date: May 9
Director/Writer: David Ross
Cinematographer: Michael McDonough
Starring: John Leguizamo, Katherine Waterston, Cynthia Nixon
Studio/Run Time: Peace Arch Entertainment, 90 mins.

Babysitters double as prostitutes in dangerously simplistic film

In this dark, despicable comedy, 16-year old babysitter Shirley (Katherine Waterston) shares an illicit kiss with Michael (John Leguizamo), the considerably older father of her charges.

That night, Shirley takes home a hefty tip, leading her to enlist her pals, print up some business cards and start having sex with every dad in town. The Babysitters glosses over the trauma and emotional manipulation inherent to what is, essentially, a child-prostitution ring—which would be unforgivable enough if the film didn’t also falter so badly on plot. Writer/director David Ross asks audiences to swallow Shirley’s ludicrous transformation—from a shy, studious high-school senior with mild OCD to a vindictive, hypersexualized madame—without question, offering scant insight into what desperation, economic or otherwise, drove her to embrace this particular career. Newcomer Katherine Waterston is remarkable, and Leguizamo infuses Michael with as much innocence as possible, but The Babysitters is still a dangerously glib and simplistic take on sexual exploitation, which, unfortunately, is never as mutual as Ross would like us to believe.