Adventures in Babysitting
By Emily Ashby,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
'80s film remake delivers clean laughs geared toward kids.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The movie intends to entertain rather than to educate.
A mixed bag. On one hand, the teens launch into an ill-advised rescue mission to find one of their charges, taking a car and heading to the inner city with kids in tow and without permission. In so doing, they come in contact with some sketchy characters, break some laws (speeding, scalping tickets, breaking and entering), and face some tense moments. On the other hand, the experience has a positive impact on both teens, teaching them to see things from different points of view and to work with people who are different from them.
Positive Role Models
Jenny and Lola couldn't be more different from each other, and each has areas she should work on to smooth hwe rough edges. Their joint adventure teaches them that neither approach to life is perfect; only in being open to new ideas and perspectives can they grow.
Violence & Scariness
A few scenes have some rough play (slapping, a girl swipes a man's legs out from under him, and the like). Mild peril.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Rarely someone will comment on another's appearance, as when a teen says a woman is hot.
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Products & Purchases
This movie is based on an '80s film of the same name.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Adventures in Babysitting is a remake of the 1987 movie of the same name and stars Disney alums Sabrina Carpenter and Sofia Carson in the shared lead role. The story's mostly preposterous plot (a carefree teen butts in on another's babysitting job, then loses one of her charges, launching an urban rescue mission where anything can happen) invites all kinds of hilarity that kids will enjoy but parents -- and anyone else with a grasp of reality -- will find less amusing. The good news is all turns out well in the end, even if that means the teens' many legal transgressions (breaking and entering, speeding, scalping tickets) go without consequence. On the upside, the experience inspires the teens to change in positive ways that make each more likable, and there's nothing to fret over in the kid-friendly content.
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Adventures in Babysitting
Based on 5 parent reviews
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The first one was definitely better
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What's the Story?
An inauspicious encounter at a job interview leads to a phone mix-up and the craziest night of two teens' lives in ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING. Vying for a prestigious art internship, straightlaced Jenny (Sabrina Carpenter) and free spirit Lola (Sofia Carson) quickly establish they couldn't be less like each other, but when Lola nudges in on a babysitting job that was meant for Jenny, then loses one of her charges, the two must join forces to locate him and bring him home. It sounds simple enough, but factor in a borrowed (without permission) vehicle, four kids, a pressing curfew, animosity between the rival babysitters, and all the distractions of the urban nightlife, and there's no telling where this adventure will lead.
Is It Any Good?
This movie's appeal is inversely proportional to your affection for the original and your maturity, which bodes well for its success with the younger crowd but not so much for their parents. Casting familiar faces Carpenter and Carson in the lead roles gives the movie an edge with Disney fans who will want to tune in to see their combined effort in this comedy. The story is appropriately packed with chaos, humor, and unexpected twists and turns kids will love, even while it takes many pages out of the original Adventures in Babysitting story. Most notable among the likenesses are an impromptu stage performance (modern rap instead of blues, though), a few near misses with the parental units, and a young girl's starstruck encounter with her idols (a roller derby team steps in for Thor this time around). And, because it's Disney, it's a squeaky-clean offering designed with kids in mind.
On the other hand, if you come to this reimagining with strong ties to Elizabeth Shue's classic performance in the role, you'll be sorely disappointed. It turns out two aren't better than one when it comes to effective babysitting, and the teens' constant power struggle quickly wears on the nerves, especially with Lola's utter negligence that's spun as humor. It's a necessary evil, as that's what sets up the night's adventures, but it's not likely to strike parents in the same hilarious way it will kids.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about what examples (if any) of positive role models exist in this story. How do the Jenny and Lola of the beginning compare to their characters at the end? What inspires the changes you see? Are they effective babysitters? Would your parents agree?
What do we learn by making mistakes and suffering consequences from them? How does it feel to own up to a mistake? Are you quick to forgive when others have erred against you?
Kids: Did Carpenter and Carlson's involvement in this movie affect your desire to see it? Is it ever difficult to see a favorite actor or actress play a role that's different from what you first saw and liked of them? Do you think this movie benefited from their work in particular?
- Premiere date: June 24, 2016
- Cast: Sofia Carson, Sabrina Carpenter, Max Gecowets
- Network: Disney Channel
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters
- TV rating: TV-G
- Last updated: August 30, 2022
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