Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987)

Rita, Sue and Bob Too (1987)

This shamelessly stark social comedy by director Alan Clarke was adapted from two controversial plays by the teenage playwright Andrea Dunbar. The result is a bawdy 1980s farce of politically incorrect hilarity handled with sympathy, leaving the viewer wondering who is exploiting whom.

Rita (Siobhan Finneran), a surly brunette, and Sue (Michelle Holmes), a hefty blonde, are two teenage schoolgirls who live on a rundown Bradford housing estate. They share a cynical sense of humour, a robust impudence toward convention and a surprising innocence.

To earn a little extra money they babysit on a weekly basis for Michelle and Bob, a middle-class suburban couple that lives nearby.

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One evening, instead of driving the baby-sitters home, lecherous Bob (George Costigan) decides the only way to get around his wife’s boredom with sex – she views the activity as a duty on a scale somewhat below ironing and hoovering – is to arrange a ménage a trois on the reclining front seat of his flashy car with the two brassy teens.

It’s a cosy arrangement that suits all three until Rita falls pregnant. Then Bob’s extra-marital affair manoeuvres on the Yorkshire moors prove costly when his other half, Michelle (Lesley Sharp) leaves after getting wind of his shenanigans through local gossip.

Rita moves in with Bob while Sue enters into an unsatisfying relationship with her Asian boyfriend Aslam (Kulvindar Ghir). The two teens realise they were happier sharing Bob and go back to a love triangle.

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Michelle Holmes

Siobhan Finneran

George Costigan

Lesley Sharp

Kulvinder Ghir
Sue’s Father

Willie Ross
Sue’s Mother

Patti Nicholls

Danny O’Dea

Alan Clarke