Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead
Kelly | Littleton, Colorado | 03/30/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Christina Applegate is surprisingly good in this cult classic playing Sue Ellen. After the babysitter dies from old age, she finds herself responsible for her four younger brothers and sisters for the entire summer. As much as she hates it, Sue Ellen has to get a job to support them all. When she applies for a receptionist job with a clothing manufacturer, her fabricated resume lands her a job with the chief executive. This is a lighthearted movie with many funny scenes.
One Crazy Summer
Luis Hernandez | New York, New York, USA | 12/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What did Christina Applegate do during her 1990 summer hiatus from television's popular series, "Married...with Children"? Well, she made this charming, highly entertaining comedy of a Los Angeles teen that finds herself in a tough predicament one summer. After her mother leaves on a two-month trip to Australia, Sue Ellen (Applegate) finds herself taking care of her four siblings after the mean, elderly babysitter that was hired by their mother for the summer drops dead from natural causes. Unwilling to put a dent to their summer fun, the kids decide to rid the body and take care of themselves for two months without having to tell their mom. Only problem is that when they dropped the body off at the local mortuary, they forgot to check the babysitter's pockets for the money their mother left for groceries for the entire summer.Determined to keep the fun and food flowing, Sue Ellen decides to look for a job. After not having too much luck at a fast food restaurant, she applies for a receptionist position at a clothing company. When a resume mix-up gets in the way, Sue Ellen becomes a career woman in order to pay the bills and keep their summer alive. Meanwhile, she develops a blossoming relationship with a fast-food worker she once worked with (Josh Charles of "Threesome") and is being hounded by two office workers who want to wreck her reputation (Concetta Tomei & a very, very young-looking David Duchovny of "X-Files fame). Featuring a great cast of actors such as Joanna Cassidy and Keith Coogan ("Adventures in Babysitting"), "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter is Dead" is a grown-up version of "Home Alone" for teens. Amusing, funny, and entertaining, it was Applegate's only feature-film hit. While she made other low-cost films such as "Streets", this film happens to be her best work outside from her work on "Married...With Children.." If you are looking for a great flick for the family this is it. Please be aware that the film contains scenes of drug use (marijuana) and might be unsuitable for children under the age of 13."
Charming and Funny
Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 12/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Thinks are looking up for the Crandell children. Mom (Concetta Tomei, "Deep Impact" and "Picket Fences") is going to Australia for two months. Things seem like they are going to be great until a babysitter shows up. The babysitter seems like a sweet little old lady until mom leaves. The babysitter then turns into a militant, giving the children orders and rules and telling everyone that she will tolerate no infractions.
The children can hardly believe their bad luck. Now they will be stuck with the babysitter from hell. After meeting to discuss their situation, the children elect Sue Ellen (also called Swell, played by Christina Applegate, "Married with Children") to go speak to the old lady. Swell knocks on the old lady's bedroom door and enters when she fails to answer. Swell discovers that one problem was solved, but another created, when she learns that the babysitter is dead.
After another meeting of the children, they decide to take the old lady to a mortuary and drop her off with a note. Unfortunately, the children neglect to remove the money their mother left from the old lady's clothes, as they learn after they return home. Swell and brother Kenny (Keith Coogan, who starred in another classic comedy, "Adventures in Babysitting") decide that one of them has to get a job. A flip of the pizza box and Swell starts looking for a job while brother Kenny hangs around the house and smokes pot.
Swell's first job is at a hotdog place, where she gets the joy of cleaning out the grease pots. Swell decides there has to be a better job she can get, so after a little creative resume writing, she lands a high-paying job as an executive administrative assistant for Rose Lindsay (Joanna Cassidy, "Blade Runner" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"). In spite of obstacles placed in her way by a receptionist and her toady, Bruce, played by a David Duchovny before his "X-Files" days, Swell manages to excel in her job, accidentally learning to delegate and even design.
Of course, things are not smooth sailing for working girl Swell. There is the office letch, who keeps trying to become intimate with Swell, not knowing she is only 17 years old. Swell is also trying to have a little romance of her own, with the brother of the receptionist who is trying to back stab Swell at the office. Brother Kenny is more anxious to hang out with his friends than take care of his siblings and the house. To top it all off, mom keeps calling, wondering how things are going and probably wondering why she is unable to speak to the babysitter.
I would limit viewing to children at least 14 years old and above because of the behavior of the children. You may wish to limit viewing to an even older age for some children.
This movie is not only good; it is a funny and enjoyable movie for adults. This movie is probably the best thing Christina Applegate has done to date outside of her continuing role on "Married with Children." A few of the gags fall flat, but the bulk of them work, and Applegate does an excellent job of making you feel sorry for her as her dream summer becomes a nightmare, all the while laughing at the things happening around her. As a light comedy this movie works, and is one that I will watch again.
Huh... hmm... hmmmmm....
Tyler Durden | Area 51-A | 12/12/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This was a movie that my sister always watched back in its hey-day. I watched along as well since I thought Christina Applegate was purty. Hey, I was a kid back then! Who didn't find her attractive? But looking at it nowadays, I never realized the outrageous clothes the women wore. Did it really reflect that era? Not that I find the clothes to be horrendous, just absolutely... stunning and flashy, I guess. A mixture of grunge and '80s fashion. Ahh, the early nineties was such a fantastic era. Nowadays, it's dull. These are the thoughts that come to mind whenever I view this movie.
The plot snypnosis are as follows and plainly simple. Five kids are being baby-sat by a sinister old lady while their mom goes away on a trip in Australia. But early into the film, the old bag croaks on them. The kids, not knowing what to do exactly, put the woman in a foot locker (it looks like one) and dump it off at the nearest morgue or mortuary. The mother left money for them, but they find that there isn't any... they soon realized that the old lady had it with her the whole time. To gain money, the two older kids, Sue Ellen (Applegate) and Kenny (Keith Coogan), flip to decide who gets a job. Sue Ellen ends up finding a job. Kenny on the other hand has to do housework and take care of the kids... but he's a lazy bum that only "tokes it" with his other stoner buddies.
Sue Ellen gets a job at a clothing design company. She turns in a resume that's not necessarily true (who doesn't do this?) and gets immediately hired by the head honcho Rose Lindsey (played by the wonderful and beautiful Joanna Cassidy). Unfortunately, Sue Ellen runs into a competition with a co-worker named Carolyn (played by Jayne Brook). In truth, Carolyn wanted to get the position that Sue Ellen got and is not too pleased with that. Carolyn has a side-kick named Bruce (David Duchovny) and both strive to expose Sue Ellen for who she really is: a phony. Rose absolutely adores Sue Ellen and not once gets after her. She loves her too much. And Rose has a man of her own named Gus (John Getz), who unfortunately became attracted to Sue Ellen on first sight.
The kids strive to survive on their own for the summer. Naturally, they run into some problems along the way, but they manage to stick together. It's basically one of those kiddie fantasies where they can run amuck without any adults to ruin the fun.
It's good for teenagers and kids, but it may seem dated to today's standard. At times, you'll find it cheesy (can you believe that us guys ran around saying "ROCK AND ROLL!" when we're energetic and enthusiastic?) and the designs may be outrageous to some. Oh well, expect yourself to find today's style dated in a few years. The ending is of course so cliched, almost "Risky Business"-like, but still enjoyable.
The hidden gem found in this movie is change, most notably in the two older teenagers. They miraculously matured based from what they've done, especially the brother. He went from some grungy stoner to a well-attired young gentleman. And instead of completely neglecting school, he decides to continue his education and even plans to pursue college. Sue Ellen became more responsible by paying more attention to her family rather than just looks, boys, and partying. She also pays more attention to her job in the end, which also resulted in actually saving the jobs of many people and even the business.
So don't write it off as some crappy teen comedy. At least it has a better message than most teen movies."