babysitter dead

This installment of our “From the Archive” feature offers an example of the way I used to occasionally cheat when writing my scripts for the radio show that I co-hosted during the early nineties. Sometimes this stemmed from a lack of available time to write out a full script, and I believe there were a couple instances when my cohort and I agreed that it was worth trying for a looser feel to the reviews (that instinct towards experimentalism likely had a portion of its inspiration in a shared weariness in banging out hundreds of words every weak on the tepid fare that was more likely to fill the screens of the local multiplexes). When I come upon once of these in my research for a Saturday post, I usually bypass it, but I was too tickled by the above image, hence something that’s more of a process post than usual. I’m fairly certain the instances in which I used prompts instead of a full script led to a lot of unfortunate verbal stumbling on air. I was better off with the whole thing written up, leaving the extemporaneous material to the cross-talk after the review. I hope I cited Keith Coogan by name on the program, because he’s by far the best performer in this film, if only for his aces delivery of the line “The dishes are done, man.”  

Take elements from the films THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS and BIG, add a touch of RISKY BUSINESS and just a bit of the blockbuster HOME ALONE. Sound like a fun movie? Well, not exactly. Instead it’s DON’T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER’S DEAD, the awkwardly titled new film starring Christina Applegate from TV’s MARRIED…WITH CHILDREN. She plays a teenager fresh out of high school who is forced to support her four siblings when her mother takes off for Australia for two months and the elderly babysitter kicks the bucket after catching a glimpse of a headbanger’s bedroom. It’s an empty-headed little film that could make for entertaining summer fluff if it were just a bit more entertaining.

–The kids in the film give acceptable performances, but the adults are trying to push their characters over the top.

–The script occasionally shows a good understanding of how kids talk.

2 stars, out of 4.

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