Picks and Pans Review: The Baby-Sitters Club
America's preadolescent girls deserve better than this drivel based on Ann M. Martin's bestsellers. The action revolves around seven girls, all about 13, who have created a babysitting cooperative in suburban Connecticut. This affable premise is unfortunately overwhelmed by a plot about the misadventures of Peter Horton, who plays the hapless, irresponsible divorced father of Fisk, the de facto president of the club.
Fisk, 13, the daughter of Sissy Spacek, is a strong little actress. Brooke Adams, as her mother, and Bruce Davison, as her stepfather, help sell the plot. But the more interesting story is the girls' bickering relationship. The father lives in a camper by the river, a secret that Fisk confides to Cook, inspiring a squabble. Meanwhile the girls run a summer camp for their charges, which annoys neighbor Ellen Burstyn, who has been sadly reduced to playing peevish harpies.
The dramatic sequences are shallow; the comic sequences are silly. Better the little darlings should see Clueless or The Net. (PG)