Written by Dalene Young, based on the novel by Ann M. Martin
Directed by Lynn Hamrick and Melanie Mayron
Starring Schuyler Fisk, Bre Blair, Rachael Leigh Cook, Larisa Oleynik, Tricia Joe, Stacy Lynn Ramsower, Zelda Harris, Vanessa Zima, and Christian Oliver
Released by: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment
My Advice: Skip it.
Seven teenagers start a babysitting business called, appropriately, The Babysitter’s Club. The leader of the gang, Kritsy (Fisk) decides that they will start a summer camp for the kids they babysit to keep the business active during the summer (also to keep the friends together all summer). However things begin to go awry when competition kicks in, in various forms. Some of the other girls at school want to muscle in on their action (not in a West Side Story kind of way, but in that passive-aggressive high school girl kind of way) and some of the girls in the club acquire a few summer crushes along the way. Not only that, but the parents and neighbors start to complain about the business.
[ad#longpost]Okay, I’m just going to jump in. What a cheesy movie. Granted the thing was released over ten years ago, but, if I remember correctly, they were releasing some pretty decent movies around that same time, weren’t they? I mean…weren’t they? The script is flimsy, the dialogue is trite, and the story is predictible. The only thing the movie has going for it are some of the performances. Fisk and Cook turn in some decent work, but the rest of the cast pretty much just pales in comparison. These two did a fine job with the crap script that they had to work with, it’s just a shame they couldn’t pull everyone else up to their level.
I wasn’t going to go this way with this review, but I just can’t get it out of my head, so I’m going to dump it on you lot to see what happens. This movie nearly qualifies as anti-capitalist propaganda. No, no; hear me out. The girls start a business, yes? So, when the other girls at school who are not members of the “Club” start to try a little competition (however devious), we are supposed to sympathize with the “Club” as though competition in the marketplace is not a healthy thing. The reason why I qualify my earlier statement as “nearly” anti-capitalist is that there is also the crap the girls get from their parents and the other grown-ups in the community. This type of belligerence is the same type of crap that businesses get from the government who try to get in the way of the market system. Their rules and regulations prevent these girls from providing their service at the highest level of quality while holding their prices down. The rules applied force the girls to raise their prices to offset the cost of the rules, then those costs are passed down to the consumer in the form of higher prices for the same services.
But I digress. Will the demographic for this film get any of that or care that the script is written to a subpar level? Probably not–but we can hope. Nor will they probably mind that there’s no special features on here. Not even the window dressing of a behind-the-scenes fluff piece featurette. I say just skip this one if you see it sitting on the rental shelf.