Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||David Ross|
|Written by||David Ross|
|Music by||Chad Fischer|
|Edited by||Zene Baker|
|Distributed by||Peace Arch Releasing|
|Running time||90 minutes|
The Babysitters is a 2007 independent drama film directed by David Ross. It stars John Leguizamo, Cynthia Nixon and Katherine Waterston. The story follows a teenager who turns her babysitting service into a call girl service for married men after fooling around with one of her customers.
The movie commences with a young woman narrating the story of how she ran a call girl service.
Shirley, a 17 year old teenager, decides to take on a babysitting role. Michael, the father of the family for whom she babysits, drives her home only to stop and grab her something to eat because she was famished. Soon they are opening up and subtly flirting with each other. They slowly tell each other indirectly about their melancholy lives: Michael, struggling with a wife he can never get to open up and her negative emotions and Shirley, uninterested in the boys in school, feigns conversation with them as they come off as immature and silly.
After the flirtatious dinner, Michael stops at the empty railroad area, where his wife refused to stop earlier that night, and decides to share his interest in trains with Shirley. The two happily frolic in the train yard, eventually run from cops, and the two hide together. The heat of the moment they mistakenly share a kiss. That kiss turns to kisses and from the very first payment of feeling dirty, a one time incident becomes a regular thing when his wife asks her to babysit again. The two let their sexual instincts take over and at the end of every meeting Michael overly pays her for "babysitting" making her feel weird, writing on the money given to her by Michael, "TROUBLE." Denying reality of her selfish actions she justifies herself by saying she feels consumed and overwhelmed with the sexist society's views on "virtue." She confides in her best friend, Melissa. Shirley and her head-strong friend, Melissa, take control so Shirley isn't consumed by naive notions that she could ever truly have her taboo love. They find recruits and make business cards to show how serious they are.
The business grows and Shirley turns into a "madam", taking 20 percent, first from Melissa's sexual liaisons and then from other "recruits" later. The two rack up money in order to pursue their dreams in prestigious, east coast universities, using babysitting as a cover. They build an enclosed circle, "a need-to-know-only" clientele, until the new girls they opened the operation to (Brenda and Nadine) take their clients in what they thought was secret. Shirley and Melissa boldly take back control by going as far as shaking things up in school. With Michael as their "lookout", they vandalize the school looking for clues on what Nadine and Brenda are doing behind their backs. After showing that this operation is not a game by vandalization Nadine and Brenda's small operation were scared into succumbing to Shirley and Melissa. Finally the power struggle is over and the duo take back control. Melissa suggests they take a "vacation, a working vacation" after all that stress. She then presents Shirley with permission slips for their parents staged as a field trip when, in actuality, is a retreat with their clients who also used the "business retreat" trip as the excuse to their wives to get away for the weekend. What came so easily eventually comes to an end. When the dirtiest of the operation shows its ugly head some of the babysitters cannot handle the harsh reality of what they are doing as they look themselves in the mirror as drugs and alcohol take them on a ride. Even Shirley's original lover realizes he doesn't want her to have anyone else when he catches her pleasuring other clients.
The weakest member, Brenda, has finally cracked after almost being raped by one of her clients as she was high off the strange pills brought to the cabin and wants out after the retreat. Melissa won't have it and sends two of her clients to ruffle Brenda's feathers by beating up her brother. Shirley is against this but what is done cannot be unwritten. Shirley believes its okay to let Brenda out but Melissa tells her she will talk and she won't be around in the next couple of months, she was accepted into the Ivy League University of her choice. Without her, there will be no one to "back her up" Melissa tells her "This was always your game Shirley, I was just here to play." On returning home Michael still struggles between his secret life and his wife which results into another fight resulting in his wife retreating from the argument instead of dealing with it happens again and upsets him. She even goes as far as canceling their plans for that night which gives Michael more free time. Michael leaves his oldest to watch his youngest and picks up Shirley which they continue their usual cuddling and making love. They go to the very first spot they kissed which leads to a fight and Michael finally realizes that she is the first thing he's wanted in 15 long years. She has left this notion behind a long time ago and thus is more mature and realizes they cannot run away with each other leaving those who depend and love them and to keep business as business with her lover, even if it hurt and tells him "It's too late". Michael gets upset and storms away leaving her there knowing he was rejected.
With the taboo longing missing from her life, the secret miniature empire starts to come crumbling down (especially when her Strong arm Melissa is graduating a year early) when Brenda's Stepsister Nadine starts "babysitting" without Shirley knowing again while Brenda stays out of it. Angry and trying to fill the void of her missing lover Shirley calls up Melissa and the two take their clients and finds Nadine while she is working with her client. The two pull Nadine out of the car from the trunk and hold her over the bypass bridge as a threat while Jerry (the client who came to help) beats up the client. The threat spins out of control and they almost drop Nadine. Luckily Jerry helps pulls them up. As Shirley takes a breath as she slowly realizes how far this path has really taken her when Melissa in front of her is looking in shock at the man who Nadine "babysat" for. Shirley turns around..only to find out...that she has demons worse than this in her own back yard. Nadine's client was her father. Shirley breaks down and Nadine, still flabbergasted from almost dying manages to say "You had it coming..." Thus, the movie comes to an end with Shirley narrating how "we all live secret lives..." The final scene arrives with Shirley whom seems she has gotten a job and a car. She is standing in watching distance next to her car outside of Michael's house with tears of longing in her eyes. His family (not noticing her) walk inside and Michael pauses to meet her eyes for only a moment as if quickly reminiscing their time spent together. His eyes showed signs of longing for her to at least come up to him and say hello. Shirley, not wanting to feel this taboo heart ache again... has the courage to walk away from the toxic relationship they shared. She gets back into her car and goes on to narrate as saying their encounter was only "a unique detail in an otherwise ordinary life".
The film received generally negative reviews from critics. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 33% approval rating with an average rating of 4.4/10 based on 27 reviews. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 35 out of 100, based on 10 reviews.
There is currently no official soundtrack out.
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