Today’s post is not exactly about design; its about a movie, and I never write about movies, in part because I don’t feel all that qualified to give my opinion. But this is a movie about which I am exceedingly knowledgeable, although the title may surprise you. This is no highfalutin’ artsy film with nudity and French language subtitles. This is no deep, demented documentary commenting on the plight of one political party or another. No, this movie, my favorite of all time, is Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead. You know, the one from 1991 starring the likes of Christina Appelgate (Sue Ellen) and Joanna Cassidy (“I’m right on top of that, Rose!”).
The trailer from 1991:
Some of you are aware of the love affair I’ve had with this movie, but for others, this will come as a perplexing shock. Why DTMTBD, you ask? Because it is ingenious! A flippant and irresponsible mother leaves her five minor children at home with a octogenarian babysitter while she galavants around Australia for two months with her boyf. When the elderly drillmaster unexpectedly kicks the bucket, the kids are left to fend for themselves for the rest of the summer (or call mom, but they choose option a). The eldest finagles her way into a job in “the bowels of the fashion industry,” pretty much takes over the company despite attempted co-worker sabotage, and the rest is history. While it didn’t get high ratings from the critics (duh), the New York Post deemed it the best teen hit of 1991. And how! I learned so many life lessons from this movie.
As an only child, DTMTBD schooled me on the (very realistic) inner workings of the sibling relationship. It taught me how to “shop my closet” and make unlikely clothing pairings that result in the most show-stopping work attire (I honestly still do this, especially in the midst of a recession!).
It taught me the importance of glossing over my shortcomings in order to achieve a status I didn’t quite deserve yet, but would quickly grow into. It taught me that a weekend of heavy-duty cleaning really can unveil a miraculously gorgeous house once choking beneath all the dust and grime. It taught me how amazing it is to have a great boss (later confirmed by my own experiences). It taught me that LA traffic is bad. It taught me that lighting and music will make or break a party. It taught me that tangerine tights are HOT (I am still a believer in bold-colored legwear).
I could go on forever about the instruction I gleaned from this movie, but I’ll stop here and let Mrs. Moz take the wheel with her unmatched catalogue detailing 20 Life Lessons from Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead. Her post is perfection on a screen, and I have my college roommate/great friend/DTMTBD cohort Colleen to thank for sending me Mrs. Moz’s post on the subject. Colleen, I must add, can recite as many lines from the movie as I, and she actually tracked down and GAVE ME a VHS copy of the flick one year for my birthday (best birthday present ever!). My mean, heartless husband forced me to donate it when he insisted that we retire our VCR 800 years ago, and I’ve never forgiven him for it. Even without a VCR, I wanted to keep the movie. For whatever reason, I have not replaced it with a dvd, so maybe that’ll be my next gift to myself.
If you have not seen this movie, I suggest you run, not walk, to your computer and demand that Netflix send it to you immediately. Look, I’ve made it easy for you: this handy link will take you right to it! (But why the heckfire isn’t it available for instant play?) Or, if you still go to Blockbuster, check it out, but don’t return it late, for goodness sake – those fees will eat you alive!
If this post has made absolutely no sense at all to you, I implore you to see this movie. I hope it impacts your life the way it has mine.