Film: Curly Sue

Curly Sue is 1991 comedy film written and directed by John Hughes: his final film as director.

Bill (James Belushi) and Curly Sue (Alisan Porter) are a father-and-daughter team of con artists, who are taken in by lawyer Grey Ellison (Kelly Lynch) after she accidentally hits Bill with her car.

This film provides examples of:

  • Character Title
  • Department of Child Disservices: The social worker who apprehends Curly Sue gives the impression of being cold and methodical as opposed to the destitute but fatherly Bill; the home she is placed in appears to be a similarly cold, emotionless place and they also cut Sue's hair there.
  • Family Versus Career: A question facing Grey.
  • Flopsy: Bill tries to pull this on Grey, with Curly Sue playing the concerned bystander ("You've killed him!"). Then Grey accidentally hits him for real ("Now you've really killed him!").
  • Little Miss Con Artist: Curly Sue.
  • Running Gag: Bill being struck on the head.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Subverted. Sue appears out of character and somewhat uncomfortable in the cute clothes Grey buys her. Bill also feels out of place in his new suit.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Paper Moon.
  • Traumatic Haircut: At some point while in the custody of the child welfare authorities, Sue's trademark very long, curly hair is cut to about shoulder-length, which seems to also make it look poofier. "They cut my hair" are the first words out of her mouth when Grey comes for her.