Owen Gleiberman
June 21, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
102 minutes
performer
Christina Applegate, Stephen Herek, Keith Coogan, David Duchovny, Danielle Harris
director
Stephen Herek
genre
Comedy, Romance

We gave it a D+

In this witless entry in the executive-pretender genre (Big, The Secret of My Success, Opportunity Knocks), a teenybopper (Christina Applegate) has to provide for her siblings when Mom goes on a long vacation and the crotchety old baby-sitter dies. She cons her way into the job of executive assistant at a clothing company and then, thanks to her superior knowledge of teen fashion, ends up saving the company. On Married… With Children, the baby-faced Applegate has a slutty spark. Here, in Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead the role is too straight, and she’s blah — an apple pie that’s neither sweet nor tart enough. The one performer with any life is Joanna Cassidy. As Applegate’s iron-lady boss, she invests her office jargon with a beamy-eyed fervor that makes every line sound like foreplay.

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