I Hate Babysitting

I Hate Babysitting

Directed by Tara Spartz

(Amanda Benolkin, Lea Wilcox)



I Hate Babysitting is what you would get if Kevin Smith was a fifteen-year-old girl. The plot is linear, the characters have angst and there’s a good toilet scene. The independent film bonus in Babysitting is that the digital camera shows the lack of a big-name production company behind it, and nobody tries to disguise their thick Minnesota accents. But most of the acting is convincing, and anyone who has babysat their summer away for below minimum wage will feel championed by writer/director Tara Spartz’s story.

All the two main characters want to do is have a party on the last weekend of summer, but their moms have bound them to the chore of babysitting so they can earn their own money for school clothes.

Spartz draws on her and her friends’ adventures in babysitting to pull off scenes that keep the movie going (the car the babysitters steal breaks down, a boy gets his head stuck in the bars of a stair rail and another nearly drowns in a public pool). Well-framed shots of trampolines, rubber balls and manicured lawns give the feeling that you’re glancing at the world of Bridget (Amanda Benolkin) and Crystal (Lea Wilcox) from your patio chair.

Spartz reveals all the nuances of teenage behavior in fine detail – Crystal puts the stuffing of her bra in a box before bed and Bridget faces the parents of her charges with a subtle roll of the eyes.

You can tell that Spartz is in tune with the insecurities of high-school girls and this alone is what makes the movie a believable and entertaining snapshot of summer.

-Monica LaBelle