REASONS 'DON'T TELL MOM THE BABYSITTER'S DEAD' IS A FEMINIST CLASSIC
- •"I'm a fast learner. I'll catch on. I'm a career woman now."Sue Ellen is cool and confident from the beginning - not a girl in need of a makeover, not a girl who needs a boy to like her, not a klutz whose clumsiness offsets any self assurance or power she might have. no, she's just a badass big sister who steps up and fakes it til she makes it.
- •"I'm right on top of that, Rose!"Sue Ellen's boss, Rose, is a smart, kind career woman who is both good at her job and a great mentor. She never tries to keep Sue Ellen down, believes in her abilities and just wants her to succeed. When Sue Ellen comes up with a plan to save the company, Rose puts her in charge of the reboot and never tries to take credit. This is so unusual. In so many movies about an ambitious woman, it's another woman keeping her down (see Sigourney Weaver and Melanie Griffith in Working Girl).
- •"Gus, I think the scenario here is that you're a sleazeball."Rose's one weakness is her sleazoid boyfriend Gus. It's clear to anyone that he's a creep, and when he hits on Sue Ellen, she isn't taken in by him at all. She always has control of the situation, even though she's 17 and he's in his 40s. When she tells Rose he was hitting on her, Rose believes her, doesn't blame her, and kicks him to the curb.
- •"There's something about you Sue El. I don't know what it is, but I feel better around you than anyone else."Sue Ellen's love interest is a nice, sweet boy. No more, no less. He's not too cool for her, he's not domineering, there's no drama. He just likes her and she likes him. They have a date watching grunions on the beach and another date bouncing around a Walmart on bouncy toys.
- •"Check these babies out! Beautiful Belgian waffles. Julia made them on her show yesterday."Sue Ellen's brother Kenny experiences a major character arc, as he goes from stoner dropout to inspired and ambitious chef, via the awesome example of Julia Child.
- •"You're at the office all day doing interesting office things while I'm stuck here cooking and cleaning."In one great scene, Sue Ellen gets home late from a long day at the office and Kenny is mad she missed dinner. Their argument reverses gender roles of a traditional married couple, showing how slyly this movie turns expectations on their head, as well as how tired and played out the usual scenarios are.
- •"That's my girl!"Sue Ellen's little sister is the athlete in the family, while Sue Ellen's two little brothers just hang around and watch tv and have crushes on girls. Another nice role reversal. The one time we see her play baseball, she hits a home run.
- •"Every girl over 25 should have a cucumber in the house."Advice from Rose to Sue Ellen.
- •"Stop acting like Henry the 8th!"Such a good insult when your bf is being unreasonable.