Oh, hey there! Was there some sort of awards show on last night? I was busy watching the epic Lifetime movie Babysitter’s Black Book for you! I felt it my duty, as a longtime fan of The Baby-Sitters Club (Stacey McGill 4eva). This movie actually has some serious issues that it kind of deals with. Social commentary on the Lifetime channel! Who knew?
Ugh, love them so much.
We open on some teens Instagramming while they play on playground equipment. I’d scoff but I have spied this very scene in my own neighborhood, so. Kids today!
At school, Ashley (of course her name is Ashley), presents her class project, which was to come up with a service-based business. (Wocka wocka. No. That’s later.) Ashley basically invented the Baby-Sitters Club. No lie. She had too many babysitting and tutoring jobs, so she farmed them out to her friends, and she now has a staff of 11. Kristy clearly would have expanded had Ann M. Martin ever let the girls get out of middle school, no?
We meet Ashley’s besties Janet (the jock), Jilly, the videographer (yes really) and Rachel (wait til you find out Rachel’s proclivity. It’s sex.). It is basically impossible for me to tell Janet and Rachel apart. C’mon, casting! The teacher tells Ashley she needs to grow her business by thinking of other services she can provide if you know what I mean. Ashley and another student, Harper, glower at each other.
We follow Rachel on a job where she has sex with the dad while the kids play outside. (Told you.)
Ashley is fretting about her college application, even though she’s apparently a lock. The girls all talk about how expensive college is. This is totally true, and I feel for them. I know. It’s hard for me to be snarky about actual life problems. I feel like I’m letting you guys down.
Let’s meet Ashley’s crush! Zac Ephron-lite. He looks like he’s 27. He’s no Logan but we’ll take him.
At dinner, Ashley’s parents tell her that they’re having money problems, and that they need to use her college fund for bills. It sucks. They tell her she’s going to have to consider community college. She treats this news with abject horror, which isn’t super endearing on her part. Community college is a viable option! But, I mean, I get it — she’s worked hard to achieve something and it is no longer an option. Ugh, I am so emotive.
Ashley’s at a babysitting job talking to some awesome parents, Mark and Susan, about college applications, and her money problems. Susan suggests Ashley get help with her essays from the hot dad Mark, a lawyer. Risky move, mom. Don’t you know you’re in a Lifetime movie? Susan manages to not be a cliché for this entire movie. Go Susan!
Mark gives Ashley a ride home. He tells her to apply to his alma mater. He offers to pay for her school? Ashley is kind of like wha? especially after he gives her a quick kiss on the lips.
Rachel brags to Janet (I mean, I think, they seriously look the same) about how the dad she’s sleeping with is paying her the big bucks. She offers to hook Janet up. Kristy would never allow this type of insubordination.
Ashley heads over to hot dad’s house for help with her essays. He offers to give her a personal tour of his fancy alma mater — he’ll fly them there for the weekend. It’s creepy, but she agrees.
At school, Ashley’s scored the number one class ranking. Harper pouts.
Ashley and hot dad go on the campus tour. It’s supposed to be nice, according to the strummy la la background music, but it’s creepy. They get cheesesteaks. Mmmm cheesesteaks.
Ashley shows up at Mark’s hotel room to tell him about her interview. He bought her a sexy black dress, which she models for him before they head out for the night. You guys. Does she seriously not see what’s coming? I feel like the ever-cosmopolitan Stacey would have totally clued Ashley into this.
Ugh, now they’re dancing. You guys. They head back to the hotel and have sex. Well, he did buy her a dress. Afterwards, she totally has post-coital regret. He says he loves his wife, but they’re mostly friends. “The magic’s kinda gone.” Is a thing that he says. He also basically tells her he’ll pay her way through school: tuition, room and board. Kristy would want you to get that in writing.
Meanwhile Rachel and Janet are whoring it up for the weekend (literally) for $750.
Rachel and Janet roll into school in designer clothes. I actually buy this plot line, that high school girls wouldn’t be smart enough to play it cool with the all the extra cash they illegally earned. They tell Ashley and Jilly about their new pastime. Ashley is surprisingly cool about it. Because you know Kristy would flip.
Ashley is tutoring Zac-lite, and he’s suddenly into her. This is yet another topic this movie totally gets right! You know how dudes are, they don’t want you, you find someone new, then they’re totally into you. Remember that, ladies. Or just ask Stacey or Claudia. They were always so worldly for middle schoolers. Ashley heads to a kegger with Zac, even though she’s never been to one before. So now she’s Ione Skye! So many cliches! She kisses Zac.
The next morning Ashley finds orchids on her stoop, from Mark. He has a lot of follow-up questions about her whereabouts the night before. He tells her she can’t have sex with anyone else, not if he’s going to pay for school. She tells him she doesn’t want his help and stalks off. Stacey approves!
You do you, girl.
The girls are hanging out at the pool. Jilly needs money for her applications, so she agrees to start hooking too. Jilly is a very undeveloped character in this movie. So I guess she’s like Dawn? (Ba dum dum.)
No one is surprised: hot dad ain’t letting Ashley go. She agrees to get a drink with him after he threatens to tell her parents about them. Except Rachel sees them out together and gets pissed about Ashley’s holier-than-thou attitude. I actually thought Ashley was being pretty cool about Rachel turning her tutoring business into a prostitution ring!
Ashley runs into Susan. Susan’s concerned she hasn’t seen Ashley in awhile, and wants her to come back to work. Ashley agrees, but only if she can be gone by 5 pm. Susan furrows her brow.
All four girls head out for a night of prostituting. It’s very soft porn-y. Jilly gets freaked out and makes a break for it. But Ashley stays and seals the deal! This new dad is not as hot as Mark.
Even Mallory Pike knows this isn’t the greatest idea. And she’s only a junior officer!
Ashley gets into Pressman! But the financial aid and scholarship aren’t enough. Ugh, this is a downer. I feel for her! This is a real issue!
Mark tells Susan they don’t need Ashley to work for them anymore.
Ashley and Zac are tutoring and making out. As one does. Is this what Mary Ann and Logan did on their dates?! Ashley gives Zac the old, ‘it’s complicated’ speech — but it actually is!
Uh oh, Janet’s knocked up! The girls fight over whether she’s keeping the baby or not. Rachel keeps trying to be the madam, but the other girls are pissed. Janet has an abortion.
Ashley’s arch nemesis Harper finally gets some lines! Harper has been waitlisted at Pressman, and she confronts Ash about how she took her spot — because everyone knows Ashley can’t afford it and would never fit in, anyway. Not nice.
Ashley crunches some numbers and realizes she’s not going to Pressman without the hooking. Maybe if she got Janine to help her with the numbers?
Rachel sets Ashley up with the same less-hot dude, only this time he’s taking pictures (which seems really, really dumb). He also tries for some girl-on-girl action with a guest star prostitute. Ashley bolts.
Not all older men will look like this, ladies.
Are you ready for the TWIST? At a school function, Ashely realizes that the guy she’s been sleeping with for money … is Harper’s uncle! Harper figures it out all very quickly, so, like, maybe she should have gotten into Pressman after all? She tells Ashley she’ll expose her unless she withdraws from Pressman. Then the next day she’s handing out a newspaper with an article about the babysitter escort service.
Think that was fast and didn’t quite make sense? Well, that’s because we’re almost at the end of the movie!
Susan sees the article, figures everything out, and confronts Mark. So does everyone at school. Not good.
Ashley’s parents are asking about the article, which apparently didn’t name names. So how did Susan know? I mean, I’m sure Harper told everyone at school. Oh right, I’m thinking too hard this late in the movie. Sorry, sorry. Ashley’s parents realize their daughter is involved and it is cringeworthy. Also I’m pretty sure I have Ashley’s dad’s shirt.
The press is staking out the high school. The principal says to the girls, “help me help you,” which is a thing that I like to say in meetings as a joke. I am a lot of fun to work with. Rachel confesses and takes the blame.
The police are involved. The police officer urges them to tell the truth. Girls, have you never seen Law Order? Call a lawyer! Ashley tells the police officer everything.
Mark is led away in hand cuffs.
Rachel’s dad heard my plea and asks for a lawyer. Yet the police officer pushes Rachel to cooperate and she agrees. Like Rachel has displayed great decision-making abilities thus far? As soon as she admits to her crimes, they arrest her. LIKE, DUH.
The DA tells Mark he has to register as a sex offender and attend some classes — otherwise he’s going to jail. Sounds not too bad, but lawyer Mark knows he’ll be disbarred. The DA does not have any fucks to give.
Ashley sees Linda at the police station and apologizes. They bond over how awful Mark is.
Pressman rescinds Ashley’s acceptance. The counselor is less than kind. Whatever, jerk. Stop being so judge-y and awful. Isn’t it your job to counsel students? College is expensive. You of all people should know that. Also Harper got into Pressman. So that sucks.
Ashley’s dad is super pissed about how the dads are going free but Rachel is in jail. I do think this inequality is a problem with the law, and I’m kind of impressed with Lifetime bringing it up! Ashley is happy to avoid going to trial. She just has community service and probation. Her parents are supportive now.
Ashley and Janet show up in their caps and gowns to visit Rachel in jail since they’ve been banned from the ceremony. Yay?
Eight months later
Ashley’s working at a deli and in community college, with plans to eventually transfer. Jilly, whom we haven’t seen in forever, comes in to say hey. She’s at art school now, as she was smart enough to run away from the prostitution. We see Zac-lite walk by, but he doesn’t go in. Oh, Ashley. Things will work out all right. At least you got to age out of middle school.
In hindsight, you girls are far to young to have watched this movie. Sorry about that.
Did you watch? Were you too concerned about the skyrocketing rate of tuition and the imbalance in prostitution law? Let us know below! And be sure to check out our other movie recaps.