GREEN'S "I'M A FUGITIVE NOW" REVIEW:
Chris Parker (Elisabeth Shue) is going on a big date with her "boyfriend" - until he cancels at the last minute. Which leaves Chris open to babysit for the Andersons, Brad (Keith Coogan)and Sara (Maia Brewton), a totally depressing come down. All plans for a quiet evening dissolve when Chris' best friend Brenda (Penelope Ann Miller) needs rescuing from a downtown Chicago bus station, forcing Chris to take the kids into the city where the fun and adventure begins...
This is one of those rare movies that came out in 1987, when I worked at the local movie theater, that I had no interest in seeing because the title alone made the movie seem a waste of time. I don't remember the circumstances in which I saw this film for the first time but it was years later. When I saw it in the $5 DVD bin about a year ago I couldn't help buying it just for kicks. I recently suggested my daughter watch it and she enjoyed it immensely.
What I found from the start was a movie that had a good music soundtrack and was actually quite funny. Yes, the situations in the film are quite comical and unrealistic, but that's okay. You need to watch this film with the mindset that it's a good bit of fluff.
The main cast give excellent performances for such young actors, especially annoying best friend Daryl (Anthony Rapp). The supporting cast is also good - like John Ford Noonan, who plays Handsome John Pruitt.
This film is the debut of Chris Columbus as a director, after some earlier success as a writer (Gremlins, The Goonies). While Columbus will never be accused of being an Academy Award winning director, his films usually do pretty well at the box office. This film provided the base for a successful directorial career. I'm actually looking forward to watching the first Percy Jackson film this year, which Columbus directed.
This remains writer David Simkins only foray into feature film writing as most of his career has been writing for various television series. It's a decent script, continuing in a genre that had really only begun to be explored by the late John Hughes, who made a career of films about teens.
One of the neat things about a film like this is that, in a cast of virtually unknowns, we get to see early versions of those actors who have actually put together decent careers in the 22+ years since this film was first released in July of 1987, such as Elisabeth Shue, Vincent D'Onofrio, Bradley Whitford and Penelope Ann Miller.
If you haven't watched this movie lately, may I suggest revisiting it? I think you'll enjoy it.
***½ out of *****
Adventures in Babysitting (1987, PG-13, 102 minutes), starring Elisabeth Shue, Keith Coogan, Anthony Rapp, Maia Brewton and Penelope Ann Miller. Written by David Simkins. Directed by Chris Columbus.