The line between sociological examination and sexual exploitation is blurry in The Babysitters, a titillating film that thinks it’s thought provoking. Does director David Ross fancy himself courageous for writing a script about adolescents who form a prostitution ring to satisfy middle-aged married men? At a Midwestern high school with a Mean Girls ambiance, the relatively upscale teens in question service the fathers of kids they’re babysitting.
The spree begins with Michael (John Leguizamo), alienated by his recovering-alcoholic wife (Cynthia Nixon). He brings extra money into the equation after an intimate encounter with 16-year-old Shirley (Katherine Waterston), who becomes a madam when her classmates pleasure johns of their own in order to buy more bling at the mall. His sleazy pals drool with delight during an orgy that may leave viewers gagging with disgust. Despite a predictably nasty denouement, the consequences are more ironic than dire. Predators and statutory rapists everywhere will likely rejoice.
Cast: John Leguizamo, Cynthia Nixon, Katherine Waterston, Denis O’Hare, Lauren Birkell, Andy Comeau, Louisa Krause, Halley Wegryn Gross, Jason Dubin and Ethan Phillips
Director/Screenwriter: David Ross
Producers: Cora Olson, Jennifer Dubin and Jason Dubin
Rating: R for disturbing strong sexual content, language and some drug use—involving teens
Running time: 86 min.
Release date: May 9