Nobody Leaves This Place Without Singing the Blues

I watched ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING (directed by Chris Columbus) last night. I had never seen this classic before, but I have been using it as a reference when talking about the next script I’m writing (the reference holds; whew!). Since the last two weeks have been full of general meetings, I’ve been mentioning the film a lot, which is dangerous business if you haven’t seen the film.

But now I have.

And it’s pretty great. Like really great. Like I was cracking up while taking ferocious notes.  The pace is driving without being frantic, and the set pieces are grounded enough that you go for the ride but they are wild, whimsical and comical enough that you’re laughing. This made me think back to DATE NIGHT. Ultimately, I felt that DATE NIGHT didn’t live up to what it could have been, what I so desperately wanted it to be. Don’t get me wrong – I believe the film was generally enjoyable and successful, but I wanted greatness from it. A new classic. And it’s not.

I think ADVENTURES got something DATE NIGHT didn’t get right. ADVENTURES has a firm handle on reality and then it twists and turns it into hilarity. I think DATE NIGHT let itself get wrapped up in the “what else could happen” temptation of this breed of film and it crossed the line.  ADVENTURES wavers over the line but I never felt let it went hog wild, and I especially didn’t feel like it was conjuring madcap plotpoints in an effort to distract us from boring characters or pitiful story. Again, not that DATE NIGHT had boring characters and pitiful story… that’d be harsh… but I’ll remember the Thor-worshiping Sara, the lovesick adolescent gentleman Brad, hormone-crazed Daryl and unshakable Chris “Don’t fuck with the babysitter” Parker for much longer than what were there names in DATE NIGHT?

** Bonus ** I like that ADVENTURES had a few set pieces that could ONLY happen in Chicago. Hello? That great blues club scene?  I’m setting my movie in L.A.; I must figure out the equivalent homage to the city of Angels.

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2 Responses to “Nobody Leaves This Place Without Singing the Blues”

  1. Sarah Says:

    I loved the babysitter blues.

  2. Dustin Pearlman Says:

    YOU HAD NEVER SEEN AIB? Wow. Classic film…did you run and get a Thor helmet?

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