Alright guys, let’s dial it back to 1995. When the world was a bit simpler, am I right? When people wore big floppy hats with flowers on them. When The Secret World of Alex Mack was the coolest show, ever. When movies like Trading Mom really made you value your parents. And when the world was blessed with the movie to put all book-to-movie adaptations to shame: The Baby-sitter’s Club.
I loved this movie. Not only because I loved The Babysitter’s Club books (also Karen’s books, Kristy’s kid sister), but because everyone’s character was spot-on. The artist Claudia, leader and freewheeler Kristy, shy Mary Anne, crunchy Dawn, beautiful Stacey, and the two lil ones — Jessi and Mallory.
The movie basically follows these teen sitters as they set up a summer camp for kids. Kristy also has to deal with some pretty intense emotional stuff when her dad comes back into the picture, and she hides it from everyone and basically flakes out on Claudia, who has to study to pass summer school. Tough lives, guys. They also have to deal with a neighbor woman who doesn’t appreciate their shenanigans and a bunch of screaming children, and Cokie and her posse (what kind of a name!?) trying to screw things up for them, including Cokie trying to steal Mary Anne’s boyfriend, Logan.
The good: The song to help Claudia study (the brain, the brain, the center of the chain), when Alan finally wins over Dawn, the girl-girlfriend song that would get stuck in your head for hours, Logan, just in general, and Kristy (Schuyler Fisk, you deserve an award).
The bad: Claudia kind of comes off as a bia, if you know what I’m saying. She accuses Kristy of not being a good friend, when she’s not really being one herself. YEAH THAT’S REAL. Also: that little brat camper and the big reveal of Stacey being diabetic (geezus, Stace, it’s not like you can catch it!).
And since I’m an honest, non-biased reviewer (hahaha), there is ONE thing that really bothers me about this movie: Stacey’s relationship with Luca. Stacey is thirteen. Luca, who doesn’t find out her age till later in the movie, is seventeen. When he does find out her age, he has the CORRECT reaction and, well, flips out. (He basically screams thirteen! over and over again.) Finally, when he settles down, this interaction takes place:
Luca: I’m coming back next summer.
Stacey: You are?
Stacey: [Smiles] I’ll be fourteen.
Luca: [Smiles back] I know.
GUESS WHAT LUCA: TIME DOESN’T STOP FOR YOU, SIR. YOU’LL BE EIGHTEEN BY THEN! THAT’S GROSS, NOT TO MENTION ILLEGAL. (He is European, so maybe he doesn’t get that…)
Anyway, barring that weird relationship, this movie is a priceless gem of nostalgia and great for those who loved the books.