Last week I found myself on the beach pondering my next Movie Crush column when I thought of the perfect topic: grunion. Specifically, watching the little fishies make little fishy babies during high tide on the California shore. After watching the 1991 cult comedy Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead many a time in my youth, I'd always dreamed of seeing the grunion run -- preferably under gorgeous moonlight, of course, and with Josh Charles at my side.
You see, for me, grunion and Josh Charles are eternally intertwined. And for a teenager in the '90s, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead was a cornucopia of wish-fulfillment in which a girl could have just about anything -- fashion, success, romance -- all before the age of 18.
As the 17-year-old Sue Ellen Crandall, Christina Applegate had it all (or at least as much as was possible in a crowded house with no parental unit around for three months): beauty, brains, her mom's car, a career she'd fudged her way into, and as much petty cash as a teenage girl supporting her rowdy siblings could spend. In the wake of old Mrs. Sturak's untimely death, Sue Ellen had risen to the occasion and become a budding fashion professional while all her friends were off vacationing in Europe. More importantly, even after her lies brought everything crashing down around her, she still had Bryan (Josh Charles), the earnest, adorable delivery boy she met while scrubbing grease at Clown Dog.