Short Takes The Sitter 

Can we finally review these lowbrow David Gordon Green comedies without making any mention of the art films he used to make? I was never a huge fan of the guy, but everyone needs to accept that he's never coming back. It's been four years since his last "serious" film, the sludgy, iron-jawed Snow Angels, and 11 years since his breakthrough, George Washington. (Since its release, the film from which Green stole most of his moves, Charles Burnett's masterpiece Killer of Sheep, has come out on DVD. Treat yourself.) Green's last two efforts, Pineapple Express and Your Highness, were affable stoner comedies, and as such, they required little in the way of premise. Shit gets funny when you smoke out, and then you're liable to screw some stuff up.

The Sitter removes pot from the equation, but oddly enough, not the drug dealers. Main character Noah Griffith (Jonah Hill) is a lay-about and a screw-up (daddy left us for Family No. 2!) whose low self-esteem prompts him to score coke for his manipulative pseudo-GF (Ari Graynor). Doing this will supposedly get him actual "va-GY-nal" sex, so he subjects the three children he's babysitting — Slater (Max Records, Where the Wild Things Are), Blithe (Landry Bender) and Rodrigo (Kevin Hernandez) — to multiple life-threatening situations, without a moment's thought. So, in order to get to the supposedly funny stuff — uptight gay adolescent, ballerina video ho, and angry pint-sized firebug — screenwriters Brian Gatewood and Alessandro Tanaka join Green in celebrating child endangerment as the height of SFW slacker-punk ethos. It's all so painfully idiotic, even Sam Rockwell can't save it — and yet sadly, it still isn't Green's worst film. (That'd be Undertow. That one was "art.") (Opens Friday)

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