Movie at the Widmere Mall: The Baby-Sitters Club

I know I said my next recap would be on Mixed Feelings, but that was before I noticed the BSC movie for rental on iTunes and decided it’d be a good flick to watch on my iPod a work. Because my job’s slow like that.

When this masterpiece hit screens back in 1995 I begged my mother to take me. I think even back then I knew the movie sucked but I was just so excited I didn’t give a care. At that time Larisa Oleynik (who plays Dawn in the movie) was already on The Secret World of Alex Mack, and that only sweetened the pot for me. The cast includes other heavy-hitters such as Rachel Leigh Cook and Marla Sokoloff. I apologize for any other heavy-hitters I’ve missed but I’m hardly what you’d call a movie buff. Really, these girls were too pretty to play the BSC-ers I always imagined.

The opening credits are shown on a backdrop of the BSC calendar. We hear a variety of calls to BSC over the theme music, one of which includes Mrs. Rodowsky requesting a dog-sitter. The theme music, by-the-by, is shitty. It tries too hard to sound funky and pseudo-ethnic. I much prefer the theme song from the BSC TV show where it’s all “Say hello to your friends (Baby-Sitters Club!)/Say hello to the people who care”. And here it is!

Kristy is getting ready for her BSC meeting. For some reason she kind of tucks her shirt into her boxer shorts, which are peeking over her jeans. Is this a nod to the grunge era or is Kristy just a huge lesbian? I think the answer to that is clear. Anyway, Kristy gets on her bike…

Bike? Where is Charlie? Does not Charlie drive K-Dawg to BSC meetings to the tune of about 17 cents a week? Unfortunately Charlie and Sam are nowhere to be found in this movie. Sucks.

On the way into the meeting Jesse tells Dawn that Alan Gray likes her. Didn’t Alan Gray want to plow Kristy in the BSC books? Grrr.

During the meeting it’s established that Dawn lurrves health food, Stacey’s crazy for shopping, Kristy loves the Rodowsky’s and Mary Anne wears knee socks. Although I think Mary Anne is being a bit uncharacteristcally bitchy. I don’t think I like this new Mary Anne. We also learn that if Claudia doesn’t get a C+ or better in her summer school science course she has to quit the BSC.

Stacey has a job sitting for Rosie Wilder that night. Rosie’s cousin from Switzerland is visiting. Stacey assumes he’s a little kid but he turns out to be a hottie 17-year old named Luca. Score! Shoulda packed a Trojan in your Kid Kit, girl!

Cut to the Thomas-Brewer mansion where we finally get a glimpse of Kristy’s mom and Watson. I am so glad that this Watson is hotter than the fat sack on the one BSC cover. Kristy whines about wanting her own phone line “for business” while Watson searches for Karen and Andrew.

Stacey has managed to turn her baby-sitting gig into a date which poor Rosie has to witness. Luca asks Stace on a real date and she waxes poetic about New York… cuz they had to stick that in somewhere. Afterwards Stacey worries over the fact that Luca doesn’t know about her diabetes. Who gives a flying fuck? It’s not like having to tell a guy you have AIDS or something. Bret Michaels has diabetes and he still scores. What’s worse is that Luca doesn’t know Stacey is 13!!! Now, since I actually live in CT I can definitely speak to the fact that a 17 year-old making it with a 13 year-old would be statutory rape in these parts.

At the next BSC meeting our fearless president has a brilliant idea: summer day camp for kids. She’s got a budget worked out and everything. I always view Kristy as a corporate killer. I swear she’s more on-the-ball than some of the higher-ups at my job. Mary Anne’s dad authorizes the use of his yard but since no children are allowed inside the house they’ll need to use Porta Potties. Gross. MA’s dad has even provided a contract for the sitters to sign. Whoa.

After all this bit of admiinstrative stuff Kristy, for reasons unbeknownst to me, goes horseback riding with jackie Rodowsky. Logan and Mary Anne happen to be at the stable, too. Kristy narrates that Cokie Mason has hated the BSC since third grade but everyone’s forgotten why. Um, maybe because you guys are lame? I adore watching Marla Sokoloff as Cokie because her role here is similar to the role of Gia that Marla played on Full House.

Gia–I mean, Cokie–is totally trying to get into Logan’s pants. As her buddies distract MA Cokie tells Logan that she has Smashing Pumpkins tickets and she’d like him to be her date. Logan doesn’t say no. The cad. I’m just so excited that this BSC movie is making a current (back then, at least) pop culture reference! I also have to dig that the soundtrack includes a song by Moonpools and Caterpillars, the band that was featured in the 1996 Disney movie Wish Upon a Star.

Following this little scene the BSC-ers are shown out and about in Stoneybrook putting fliers up all over the place. Again, I think they might have more marketing strategy than the company I work for. After a hard day’s work they reward themselves by going to a burger place. Dawn just munches on some seeds. Kristy’s upcoming birthday is mentioned and K-Dawg wants it to be a good one! I like this part because it contains an exchange I remember hearing over and over again in promos. Jesse says, “We can almost buy a car!” Then Mallory says, “And in five years we can drive it.” How classic is that?

But, awww, they only have 12 campers signed up so far. Now forget what I said about the BSC and their awesome business sense… they’re charging $250 per kid for day camp from July 5th through Labor Day. Doesn’t camp, even day camp, usually cost several hundred dollars? I mean, I know a kid-run camp would seem like a shittier deal but, hey… the chodes of Stoneybrook trust these 11 and 13 year olds to watch their kids all the time, right?

Cokie comes in the diner with her friends and has taken some of the BSC fliers. Kristy invites them to a BSC party, and then one of Cokie’s dumbass friends has the nerve to suggests the sitters are cool. I can’t say I agree. The party turns out to be a sham and instead the Cokie Crew shows up only to be doused with water via a sprinkler system.

Day camp finally starts. The kids are given color-coded potholders so the sitters can keep track of their groups. Potholders? Are you fucking kidding me? What does a kid want with a potholder?

Camp isn’t going on for long before the problems we all (except for the BSC, that is) saw coming arise. The kids end up having to use the potty but, whoops! The Porta Potties that were supposed to be delivered that morning have not shown up yet. Dawn says the kids can’t use the bathroom in the house because her mom would “kill” the BSC. Uh, wasn’t Dawn’s mom the same woman who left a high-heeled shoe in the lettuce crisper? What does she care about a bunch of grubby tikes using her lavatory? But the kids, of course, end up using the toilet inside. Little Suzy’s taking an awfully long time in there and it turns out she’s “shaving”. God, I hate kids.

Alan Gray stops by the camp to offer his assistance. He’s actually kind of cute! Dawn insists Alan cannot be involved in this project but Kristy is too smart to turn down free labor.

Dawn, Mary Anne and Kristy discuss the Logan/Cokie situation. Mary Anne says she can’t tell Logan what to do. Kristy pipes up with a very feminist “We can’t let men get away with everything!” Right on, Sistah.

Later on that evening Kristy’s father shows up out of nowhere! I’m confused. Was there any time in the BSC books where Kristy’s father appeared? When I did picture Kristy’s father he lived in a dirty appartment whose decor included an old, plaid couch and an abundance of empty beer cans. And Mr. Thomas himself looked like a deadbeat shithead. This Mr. Thomas is clean and attractive. What… the… fuck?

Mr. Thomas says he’s moving back to Stoneybrook. He’s got a shot at writing for the sports section of the newspaper… or something to that effect. He doesn’t want Kristy to tell anyone he’s back until he knows about the job because he doesn’t want to seem like some loser. So, uh… I guess he won’t be seeing his other kid, David Michael, yet. Eh, David Michael was little when Pa Thomas left, so it’s all good!

It’s Cowboy Day at camp! Dawn’s trying to make some dumb earth speech when Alan shows up and starts with his clownish jackass-ery. I think the kids far prefer that to Dawn’s speech… I know I do! For more comic relief, Jackie Rodowsky tries to hit a baseball but hits his own, uh…. balls instead. Ouch. Oh, yeah… and the camp has time out just like Super Nanny. Way to rip off BSC, Nanny Jo.

Kristy wants Mary Anne to go with her to see Pa Thomas. Mary Anne reluctantly agrees to go. Pa gives Kristy a gift. It’s a fugly dress! Awww 🙂 Not only does Kristy’s dad have horrible taste in fashion but he doesn’t even know that his own daughter basically lives in overalls and men’s underwear.

Kristy swears Mary Anne to secrecy regarding the Dad situation. Mary Anne’s all pouty about this because she wants to tell Dawn, Logan… half of Stoneybrook. What up with this new, would-be-blabbermouth Mary Anne?

Back to Kiddie Camp… Cokie swings by and flirts with Logan. Meanwhile, the Cokie Cronies plant a stink bomb… but they forgot to pull the tab! Dumb bitches make awful cronies, Cokester. Some of the kids find the bomb and launch it over the fence with a catapult. The bomb lands in the neighbor’s yard and is activated by the impact. Needless to say the neighbor is ticked.

Kirsty leaves early so she can chill with Pa Thomas. The girls wonder who the man who’s picking up Kristy is… because apparently she never showed any pcitures of her shithole dad to her friends. Mary Anne knows who the man is but keeps mum.

The aforementioned neighbor, Emily Haberman, comes over to complain about the stink bomb and other assorted irritating activities that have taken place since the camp has been operating. I could not agree more with her. Haberman tells the girls that if things don’t quiet the fuck down she’s going to report the camp and they’ll lose their permit. Uh… what pemit?

Claudia’s stuck studying solo for her summer school science class because Kristy’s big ass is nowhere to be found. Claud also ends up taking on a lot of Kristy’s work at the camp. Despite all this our funky fashion diva manages to find an old greenhouse that, if cleaned up, the BSC can use as an office!

Next we have Stacey about to go on a date with Luca. Uh, creepy! Stacey’s mother is understandably concerned about Stace going out with this older dude… although not concened enough to stop her from going! Ma is also worried that Stacey hasn’t eaten before her date. Once Luca arrives Stacey grouchily tells her mother that she stuck a muffin in her bag and will eat it on the way. Of course this is a lie and stupid Stacey ends up collapsing on her hiking date with Luca! He’s great about it, though. He totally doesn’t care that Stace has diabetes! Yay!

Once again Kristy blows off Claudia so she can hang out with her hottie Dad. We get to see Emily Michelle who’s a beautiful little girl! I tended to picture Emily Michelle looking like a mildly retarded kid.

Surprise, surprise: Kristy’s dad hasn’t heard anything about that big job yet. Then Kristy’s late to a BSC meeting. Holy, shit! That’s, like, a cardinal sin, yes? The girls voice their frustrations about the variety of shit that’s been going on, including Haberman’s threat about the permit. Kristy says she checked everything out and they don’t need a permit. That’s a relief! But then the BSC-ers decide they’ve waited long enough and must go off to handle their now-overdue personal affairs.

At camp I think Dawn is starting to get the warms for Alan Gray. Kristy and Claudia argue about Kristy bailing so often. Kristy’s off seing her dad when David Michael wanders off from camp.

When Kristy gets home Mom and Watson are pissed. Kristy was supposed to pick David Michael up and since she didn’t he tried to walk home by himself. Fortunately Mr. Kishi found him and brought him home. Much arguing ensues capped off by Kristy shouting a classic “You’re not my father!” to Watson.

Another day at camp and it’s clear that Alan and Dawn are going to make a sexy time. The BSC has decided they’ll have Kristy’s birthday bash at Mal’s family’s cabin. And Luca has invited Stacey to go to New York with him! It’s OK with Stacey’s mom as long as Claudia goes and they stay with Mr. McGill. Claudia just has to pass her science class.

To help with this matter the BSC-ers do a super-cool rap about the human body. The brain! The brain! The center of the chain! See, it even worked on me. All the gals give Claudia their lucky charms.

When Kristy calls Claud on the phone Claud gives the icy treatment. Kristy calls Mary Anne and they both agree they feel like rats for keeping this secret… then again, it is all Kristy’s fault so a chilly Mary Anne cuts the convo short. Just betray your dad, Kristy. What has that turd done for you other than get you a fugly dress?

Finally the moment we’ve (or at least I have) been waiting for arrives… Kristy yells at her dad for leaving his famly, not being around all these years and asking her to lie. Pa Thomas promises to make things all better by picking Kristy up at the Thomas-Brewer mansion on her birthday. That’ll fix everything for sure. But what about the bitchin’ party at the cabin?

The crew is fixing up the greenhouse when Kristy says she’ll be late for her own party. Cunt. We find out Claudia passed her science test so she can stay in the BSC and go to NYC!

Stacey’s dad takes her and Claud to do all the usual NYC touristy shit, then he drops them off at a “teen club” to meet Luca. The girls are asked for ID and Stacey says she left hers at home. Someone notices Stacey does, in fact, have ID and it says she’s 13! Luca thought she was 16 and completely flips out… with good reason, I say!

Back in Stoneybrook those shit kids end up picking Haberman’s snapdragons! This is the last straw for Mrs. H until Dawn wins her over with her hippy-ish-ness. Great success!

After Stacey gets home Luca is waiting outside her house playing a harmonica. Apparently he’s called several times and Stacey hasn’t wanted to talk. This is no exception.

Logan gives Alan Gray some woman advice. Basically he tells Alan to stop trying so hard to impress Dawn and Alan says Logan told him before that Dawn wouldn’t like him if he acted like himself. Bwa ha ha!

On the day of Kristy’s birthday Pa Thomas is nowhere to be found. Kristy calls his hotel only to find he’s checked out. He can’t be found at the amusement park he promised to take Kristy to, either. Meanwhile Kristy’s friends sit waiting for her in the cabin as the ice cream cake melts.

Through all this Coke and Cronies are still bent on destroying the BSC. They’ve set out to trash the greenhouse, which they do. But then they get their feet stuck in wet cement. I didn’t even know the BSC knew how to use lay cement.

A thunderstorm starts thus forcing the amusement park to close. Kristy calls Mal’s from a payphone but the phone goes dead. The girls are all concerned about Kristy’s whereabouts and Mary Anne finally spills the beans about Kristy’s father. The BSC-ers decide they need to find Kristy but they don’t want to tell her parents what’s been going on. How will they look for Kristy in the rain with no car?

Somehow Stacey convinces Luca to drive the BSC around to look for Kristy. They find her somehow and have a happy reunion. Luca and Stacey finally have a chance to talk. Stacey says she understand if Luca never wants to see her again and that sometimes it’s hard for her to just be herself. Luca tells Stacey to quit blabbering and that he’ll be back in Stoneybrook next summer. Stacey will be 14 then! Uh, the legal age of consent in Connecticut is 16, guys. 16!!!! Luca plants a big, ol’ wet one on Stacey. EWWWW!!!! Where’s Chris Hanson when you need him?

Back in the cabin the girls all console Kristy about her shitty, deadbeat father. Everything’s “sha la la la” and Kristy makes a wish over her melty cake that the BSC will be friends forever! Reminds me of that one Behind the Music-esque episode of Saved by the Bell.

Kristy tells her mother the truth about what’s been going on and Elizabeth Thomas-Brewer is none too pleased. She explains to Kristy that while her father is a hunk and totally awesome in the sack–uh, that he’s fun–he’s also a dirty, lying shit stain. Kristy’s dad left some stupid letter in the mailbox about how he’s a pussy and didn’t want to say the “job” fell through but he, uh, loves Kristy. Or something.

With this crap resolved it’s time to get back to business. The BSC gals arrive at the greenhouse only to realize it’s been trashed. Cokie’s and her friend’s shoes are left in the dried cement as evidence of their bitchery. The BSC is able to clean up the mess with only two hours before the Civic Committee arrives. Cokie is pissed and her friends complain about wasting the summer being “bad”. I always say (as does Samantha Fox) that naughty girls need love, too.

The Civic Committee deems the clean-up a job well done. However, the BSC is told the club can’t use the house since it makes a profit. Mrs. Haberman argues the girls don’t make enough money to be considered a viable business and the greenhouse is theirs! Hooray!

The streak of success continues when Jackie Rodowsky finally hits a homer… using a kickball. The kickball knocks Cokie into a Dumpster and everyone has a good laugh. I guess Cokester won’t be going to see Smashing Pumpkins with Logan.

Alan asks Dawn to the movies. At first she says “no” but when Alan says he’s been trying to ask Dawn out all summer she has a change of heart. This is actually one of the parts I remember from seeing the movie in the theater.

Kristy’s father has been sending more letters. What a winner.

In an annoying twist, the girls decide to continue using Claudia’s room as an office because it “feels like home”. What a motherfucking waste. The club uses most of its meager profit from the day camp to buy a bunch of plants for Mrs. Haberman which they give to her along with the greenhouse. Haberman is both touched and pleased.

All the friends can afford with what’s left over is a large pizza, but that’s OK because the summer was such a valuable experience. Each girl faced her own personal tests. Kristy had a shitty dad, Mary Anne had to lie for Kristy, Claudia literally took a test, Dawn learned to love a geek, Stacey fooled around with an older dude and Mallory and Jessie, uh… well, they always get left out, anyway. But ALL the girls learned what it really means to come through for your friends. And they’ll be FRIENDS FOREVER!



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