The Babysitters David Ross

The Babysitters David Ross
The babysitter as an object of desire is nothing new. The porn industry has been pushing that fantasy for decades now and at times, Ross’s directorial debut seems as though it’s headed in that very direction. But the audacity of The Babysitters isn’t in its risqué premise and where he takes it but where he doesn’t. The movie revolves around a mousey teenager named Shirley (Katherine Waterston, daughter of Sam), who one night after a babysitting gig gets a ride home by the father, Michael (John Leguizamo). One thing leads to another and then all of a sudden Shirley finds herself making $200 for her services — a good start to her college savings. The entrepreneurial side of Shirley sees this as an opportunity to make some serious coin and in no time she begins pimping out her willing friends to lonely men in need of "babysitters” across town. Of course, the good times last only so long and the complications set in when Michael shows his true feelings for her and her friend Nadine begins to freelance, making Shirley ultimately realize that, yes, pimpin’ ain’t easy. This little indie flick had potential that Ross couldn’t fulfil in ways a Larry Clark or Gus Van Sant could have. Ross seems to forget just how devastating such a scenario could be for everyone involved and glosses over the heavy stuff. The biggest problem lies in the character of Shirley, who despite being played with competence by Waterston, isn’t allowed to develop, and we’re led to believe that such a harmless girl can become Heidi Fleiss at the drop of her panties. In the commentary, Ross mentions his goal was to comment on prostitution and the emotional detachment from the physical, which as his message, seems like admitted failure, considering his film is almost devoid of emotion. He explains his decision to end the film as a way to avoid the obvious artificial ending, which I applaud but what he gives us fails to deliver any impact, which may be more satisfying to him but not to the viewer. Plus: "making of” feaurette. (O.D.D. Entertainment)