The tedious, annoying filmmaking style of director Monia Chokri makes “Babysitter” difficult to watch. The choppy editing, headache-inducing quick cuts, and extreme close-ups are maddening, and they’re amplified by the unfunny, rapid-fire dialogue. This film has been described as “screwball surrealism,” which accurately represents just how frustrating the finished project turns out to be.
The premise, on paper, sounds amusing. Partnered dad Cédric (Patrick Hivon) is a sexist who is constantly objectifying women. After a drunken evening out, he kisses a female reporter on live television and gets fired from his job. Embarrassed and stuck at home with his girlfriend Nadine (Chokri) and their baby, Cédric and his brother Jean-Michel (Steve Laplante) come up with the idea to write a tell-all book as a means of apologizing for their past misogyny. Things get complicated when Nadine hires a racy young babysitter named Amy (Nadia Tereszkiewicz) to take care of the constantly crying infant. Amy brings provocative, frank attitudes towards sexuality that upends all of their lives.
The script (based on a play by Catherine Léger) has a few bits of solid writing, but it’s overshadowed by the film’s other problems. The style is made for those with short attention spans, the humor never lands, and the themes are lost in a tornado of absurdity. “Babysitter” is a too messy, too manic satire of male masculinity. Nothing about this film worked for me.
By: Louisa Moore