More Sexy Ingenues!

rex babysitters1vjpg More Sexy Ingenues!THE BABYSITTERS
Running Time 90 minutes
Written and
directed by David Ross
Starring John Leguizamo, Cynthia Nixon, Katherine Waterston

The movies have never known how to mine the diversity of multitalented John Leguizamo, but he’s currently shining brightly in two roles as different as chipotle and cherry pie. In Brad Furman’s The Take, he plays a tough Latino armored-truck driver in gang-infested East L.A. who survives a close-range gun blast that leaves him fractured for life. In first-time director David Ross’s The Babysitters, he plays a preppy suburban Dad in cashmere sweaters and Bass Weejuns, so lonely and neglected by his boring soccer mom wife (Cynthia Nixon) that he succumbs to the seductive charms of their babysitter, an honors student named Shirley (Katherine Waterston), who responds to her nice employer’s generosity with a generous “perk” of her own. She’s so proud of her new sexual power that it inspires her to enlist her high-school girlfriends. Pretty soon she’s talked a network of sexy classmates into a profitable business that can send them all to college. Printing business cards, doing bookkeeping on their laptops, juggling appointments with all the upstanding husbands and fathers in the neighborhood, the girls are soon up to their ponytails in clients. But a good thing can only last so long. Things begin to backfire and profits plunge when one girl’s greedy sister gets in on the act and goes into business for herself. They call it earning tuition money. The law calls it statutory rape.

It’s only a matter of time before the police find out—or, even worse, every wife on the block. Until the risks turn deadly, what first appears to be a lurid romance between a responsible family man and a neighbor’s 16-year-old daughter ends up being a deliciously dark comedy about a prostitution ring of neighborhood babysitters who introduce a whole new meaning to the term “parental nightmare.” Mr. Leguizamo is too good for dirty-old-man jokes; he turns his character’s yearning for the old freewheeling bachelor days before he was tied down by family responsibilities into a justification for lust that leaves the viewer with a queasy moral discomfort. You can’t approve of his secret sex life with underage vixens in bobby socks, but you understand him—and like him anyway. It’s refreshing to see him play Everyman, with no ethnic chains at all.

The Babysitters is about more than a respectable man’s double life. When his married buddies get wind of what’s happening in all those lighted bedroom windows, they want to cut themselves in on some babysitter action, too, and with her little black book, Shirley becomes a pint-size Polly Adler. The film shows the easy sexual mores that can result from too much capitalism; the rigid Darwinian social structure of suburban high schools that ignores the students’ hormonal progress; and the tortured guilt suffered by grown-ups when it’s time to pay the piper. Pitched somewhere between dark comedy and melodrama, The Babysitters breaks rules. Like television’s Six Feet Under and the recent film Juno, it’s the perfect antidote to the dopey, butter-cream-frosted teen flicks of John Hughes—Pretty in Pink with poison sauce.

Article continues below
More from Politics
STAR OF DAVID OR 'PLAIN STAR'?   If you thought "CP Time" was impolitic, on July 2 Donald Trump posted a picture on Twitter of a Star of David on top of a pile of cash next to Hillary Clinton's face. You'd think after the aforementioned crime stats incident (or after engaging a user called "@WhiteGenocideTM," or blasting out a quote from Benito Mussolini, or...) Trump would have learned to wait a full 15 seconds before hitting the "Tweet" button. But not only was the gaffe itself bad, the attempts at damage control made the BP oil spill response look a virtuoso performance.  About two hours after the image went up on Trump's account, somebody took it down and replaced it with a similar picture that swapped the hexagram with a circle (bearing the same legend "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"!). Believe it or not, it actually got worse from there. As reports arose that the first image had originated on a white supremacist message board, Trump insisted that the shape was a "sheriff's star," or "plain star," not a Star of David. And he continued to sulk about the coverage online and in public for days afterward, even when the media was clearly ready to move on. This refusal to just let some bad press go would haunt him later on.
Donald Trump More Or Less Says He’ll Keep On Tweeting as President