Monday, September 18, 2017


Welcome to another installment of RETRO REVIEW, where we take a look back in time at films made before the year 2000. Today we review the 1991 dark teen comedy, DON'T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER'S DEAD.

This hilarious coming of age film is one of my favorite movies. It is one of those films I know by heart and am able to watch over and over. Christina Applegate, one of my favorite actresses, plays a teenager whose Mom decides to leave for Australia for the summer. The worst part is that she leaves the kids with the worst babysitter ever. Their summer of freedom is ruined, or is it....

This film was a great coming of age story because the siblings learned to depend on each other when they needed too. Christina Applegate's character, Sue Ellen, grew up quite a bit from the beginning of the movie to the end. She learned how to be an independent woman. Her brother Kenny went from burnout to upstanding young man. All the siblings changed for the better.

One of the funniest scenes in the whole movie is when three drag queens steal their babysitter's car.  I just couldn't imagine having my car stolen by drag queens. Sue Ellen has to call her one of her co-workers from clown dog to rescue them. Clown dog...sounds like the job I had as a teenager.

Things get more complicated as Sue Ellen quits Clown Dog and starts dating her ex-coworker Bryan. She has to find herself another job. Naturally, she creates a resume to land a job at the prestigious General Apparel West fashion house. Sue Ellen gets the job; but ends up making enemies where she works. One in particular is Bryan's sister, which doesn't help their blossoming romance.

Another funny, yet inappropriate scene is when Sue Ellen is sent roses by her boss's boyfriend. She declines his advances and says she just got over a bad divorce. However, she just graduated from high school and is 17. Lies one tells to get a job!!!

This film has all the right stuff for a great teen comedy. It has sex-appeal, comedic timing, teen angst and adults who don't understand. Christina Applegate did great in this film and I enjoyed her chemistry with Keith Coogan, who played Kenny. Coogan also starred in ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING with Elizabeth I see a pattern here?

DON'T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER'S DEAD didn't get much love from the critics.  Roger Ebert called it an escapist fantasy for teenage girls. Well, I mean what teenage girl wouldn't want their parents gone for the summer.  It only received a 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which, to me, is a shame.

This film was definitely an escape from reality because this would never happen in real life. I loved this film because of Christina Applegate and the fact that it reminds me of my younger days. If you are a fan of Christina Applegate or love dark teen comedy, then you should definitely check this one out.

Lisa's Score: 9/10


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