I find it hard to understand why almost no one in Hollywood, with the exception of Judd Apatow and David Gordon Green, knows what to do with fat actors who are charismatic and poised. Case in point: Jonah Hill, whose recent weight-shedding metamorphosis, which was aimed, one suspects, at being considered for more serious roles, was as fabled as Jared, the Subway guy’s.
A few years back, we had to believe in Hill as a sexual being during his string of early Apatow endeavors that formed his then-nascent career. It was at first a bit of a stretch, sure, but we got there. The plot of Gordon Green’s The Sitter requires considerably less suspended disbelief. Hill plays a guy who lives on his mom’s couch (so far, so good) and becomes a babysitter to both boost his bank account and score with the kids’ hot mom (you’re losing us), which then spirals into a night of mad, X-rated chase, replete with a narcotics subplot and a slew of adorably inappropriate one-liners from the kids in tow. The hilarity of The Sitter, then, must depend on how funny (or not) the viewer finds the image of Jonah Hill on a bike. Thin gruel, indeed.
The question is, will this be the last film we get to see starring an overweight Hill? For his forthcoming movies, will we have to suffer the appearance of the now Holocaust-thin actor trying to play harmless and perky and charming in the same way? Something makes me think that with the shattering of Hill’s bulk, the magic may have gone as well.