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Adventures in Babysitting & Stakeout


"Producer Postscript" is a feature where Charlene can talk about the Touchstone movies that Mike, and his co-host, Chad, cover in their podcast "Out of Touchstone".  Charlene is more of the silent partner in the venture (she helps produce the episodes), so she's blogging her thoughts on these films for the website.

Out of Touchstone Podcast: Episode 6 "

Adventures in Babysitting (1987)

The silly, farcical premise of this film (a babysitter needs to rescue her friend in the big city, and takes along the three kids she's looking after) is wonderfully sustained for an hour and a half by the charm of Elisabeth Shue as the lead, and the kids.  Although, as much as I love Anthony Rapp as a Broadway performer, his turn as Daryl - the hormonal teenage friend who tags along - was often annoying.  But the movie is a good, fun, Eighties comedy of misadventures with the mishaps piling up quickly as the situation spirals out of control.

Yet, I was a little appalled at the "outdated cultural depictions" with the kids outrageously sexualizing the babysitter, and a teenager engaging with a college-age student.  It's disturbing and sad that Elisabeth Shue's character just takes it all in stride instead of stopping the inappropriate attentions, but taking this movie for what it is, I definitely enjoyed the humorous situations and the very satisfying conclusion.


Stakeout (1987)

Another film that seemed to showcase inappropriate ogling of women - this time with police officers and the woman they are supposed to watch/protect.  Ah well, sign of the times.  I'm not sure what to make of this film.  On the one hand, the suspense and the danger of a criminal making his way to his old girlfriend's house made for an interesting plot, but on the other, the movie takes its time showing the day-to-day life of police officers and sets up an unnecessary competition between rival detectives.

I did enjoy the romance aspect though - because the detective played by Richard Dreyfuss, Chris, is put in a terrible situation trying to woo the girl they are staking out, while also keeping her unaware that he is a police officer.  It's terribly unprofessional (and why can't Chris just tell her that he'll date her in a little while?) but I do love a complicated romance.

The story is a bit far-fetched, but it had interesting and suspenseful moments, with an exciting finale.

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