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Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead Lives. Is Nothing Sacred?

Dont_tell_mom_the_babysitters_dead Because every movie concept that could ever possibly exist has apparently already been imagined and fully- realized, every fucking week another studio announces another inevitably-terrible, uncalled-for remake. This week's impending-bastardization announcement comes courtesy of the creative geniuses at The Mark Gordon Company, who are reportedly looking for writers for a Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead remake.

If you've never had cable, you may not remember the 1991 flick, starring Christina Applegate and Keith Coogan, in which Applegate and Coogan play teen siblings whose elderly babysitter kicks rocks while their mom is in Australia on vacation. Logically, Applegate fakes her way into an executive job in fashion while Coogan takes care of their house and little siblings.  Because, obvs, calling Mom is just not an option. Which, incidentally, I taught high school for a number of years and pretty much every seventeen year-old I've ever known would have shit their pants had they found the corpse of their babysitter and would have immediately called 911 AND Australia before the body was cold, potential house parties be damned. I'M SO NOT BUYING THIS.


Okay, I lied. Yes, I am. I totally love this movie. The B- and C-plots rule (the wooing of Applegate's character by a young That Guy Josh Charles; the evil coworkers, including one pre-X Files David Duchovny, scheming to expose Applegate as the teenager she is), and there's a backyard fashion show at the end. Keith Coogan's character (one of the most memorable stoners in contemporary film history) teaches himself to cook by watching Julia Child. Bonus: the shoulder pad's apex of ubiquity was during the filming of this movie, as evidenced by Applegate's character's choice of businesswear. So if this remake comes to fruition, I will weep, because there are so many equally implausible stories out there, waiting to be told, and Hollywood keeps feeding us the same old, tired, preposterous stories.

Christina Applegate is a fierce lady who I'd like to high five, so it would pain me to see her return as the mother-type character should they go this route. You know another movie that tried this? The Parent Trap II. No, not the Lindsey Lohan one, the made-for-TV one.

The one you've never seen, which, exactly. I mean, I saw it. I had it taped from TV on VHS. Actually, you can watch The Parent Trap II in its entirety, Tom Skerritt and all, on YouTube. The Internet is amazing. ANYWAY, Christina Applegate should boycott, is all I'm sayin'. Keith Coogan, on the other hand, could probably use the work.

Relatedly, I will boycott the studio that remakes The Goonies, I swear to Baby Jesus AND Flying Spaghetti Monster I will. Just try me.

. . . . .
Kelli's dishes are done, man.

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Parent Trap II sucked ass. Parent Trap III, with Barry Bostwick, was made of awesome. Awesome, I tell you. I also loved Don't Tell Mom. As a teen who took care of my sibs for one week each summer, it always hit close to home, though my brother was a stoner and NO Julia Child. That kinda sucked.

TJ Johnson

DTMTBD is a classic and should NEVER be fucked with. What is wrong with these people? I still want to date the 1991 version of Christina Applegate. I am sure the present me would have much more in common with her than the 11 year me. I mean, I was pretty suave and debonair back then, but I am sure the age difference would've scared her off.

K Best Oliver

Here's my only qualm about Parent Trap III: so part of the premise of Parent Trap II was that Susan's character was happily married to Pilot Brian and so that's why it was shenanigans for her to pose as Sharon to trick Sharon into falling in love with Tom Skerritt, right? So why, in Parent Trap III, is Susan's characters suddenly single and ready to mingle? Did Brian kick her to the curb for going on a fake-date with Tom Skerritt? I've been wondering about this for 20-some odd years.Damnit, I want answers.

Other than that, one-upping PT I & II by throwing triplets into the mix? Well played, Disney. Well played.


I think I was about 10 when I first saw this. One of my favorite scenes, when Sue Ellen is faking her job at the Big Fashion Company, her boss says "Sue Ellen, have you ever had a 24 hour orgasm?" Sue Ellen/Applegate says "no, I've never been to Santa Barbara"

I asked my (very modest, very conservative) mother what they were talking about. She said "well, I've never been to California either, so who knows."

and then the tape disappeared. Coincidence? I think not.

Shana Coppedge

Love DTMTBD!!! It was a classic of the early 90's! There is no way they can recreate the magic of skeet shooting off the roof with dirty dishes, the dangers of "petty cash", or imparting the crucial knowledge of that your unfailing response to questions is: "I'm right on top of that Rose!"
Oh why won't those executive dickweeds come up with original ideas instead of trampling all of our treasured childhood movies?
And I wholeheartedly agree that if they screw with the Goonies I will boycott the studio, I will go picket the damn studio. You don't mess with perfection people.


The dishes are done, maaan!

My favorite line. I am known to say that about once a month. Most of the people around me have no idea what I am referencing, or why I am talking about dishes when no where near a sink or any dishes.

Robyn G

This movie is such a classic. I STILL use "I'm right on top of that, Rose!" regularly.


First...there was a Parent Trap 3? Really? I swear I remember seeing it and then someone told me I'd made it up. That Disney never made it.

Second? I loved DTMTBD. I *may* own it. I wish they'd stop making crappy remakes of great B movies.

If they remake Ferris Bueller? I'm moving to an island without movies. Or Bali. On a beach. with a cabana boy. Something like that.


Love, love, LOVE this movie. There are so many quote-worthy lines in it. When we were first married, I had to make my husband watch it with me (much to his intense displeasure) so he would know why I randomly used phrases such as "The butt crack of dawn", "The dishes are done, man!", and "I'm right on top of that, Rose!"

The girl at the end with the curly hair and the teeny, tiny whistle earrings? (Wait. Were they earrings, or did she just wear a whistle around her neck? Clearly, I need to view this movie again, ASAP.) I totally wanted to be her.

Finally, PT II? My tween-aged self LOVED the movie, just because it was PT. The adult me? LOATHES it.


So I'm late on this one...

Yes, there was a Parent Trap III. It had the girl(s) who played Tori in that weird, Jesse-less season of the orignal Saved by the Bell. They were triplets and were also Doublemint girls when they were trying to replace the Daniel twins, who played Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield on the Sweet Valley High show.

...Y'know, it occurs to me that this is not the kind of nerdiness that I should be proud enough of to actually display.

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