Disclaimer: I do not own Newsies. This fic is in no way meant to insult Ele Keats, the actress who played Sarah.
Recently returning to the fanfiction world, I have also returned to my obsession with Newsies. This, of course, has meant looking up fan sites. And on almost every site I visited, there was a "Why I Hate Sarah" page. Some (ok, most) of my points are responses to what I read.
It seems that Sarah gets a lot of smack talk from most Newsies fans/fanfiction writers. While I admit that her character was slightly unnecessary and the end of the movie would have been just as happy without her and Cowboy's little game of tonsil hockey, she doesn't deserve the hate she gets. I've seen complaints for her character being too plain/in the way/ blah blah blah. I used to hate her too, so I see what you all are thinking. But you have to step back and really look at her character before you judge her.
So, without further delay...
In Defense of Sarah Jacobs-
1) She only has 27 lines. Yes, I went to the script and checked. That's not nearly enough time to get any sort of deep character/personality development in there.
2) She's a GIRL in a group of BOYS. Of course she's going to be/seem weak. This was 1899; girls weren't viewed/raised in the same way as they are now. And they certainly didn't know/weren't taught how to throw a punch.
3) She sells those doilies she makes. What do you think she was carrying in that basket? Puppies?
4) "You stupid ape" was possibly a good insult back then. Think about it, no one wants to be called a monkey, unless they are, well, a monkey. And I don't think that monkey would like being called stupid, do you?
5) Yes, she's getting the plates. If she hadn't announced it, David would have gone for the plates as well and looked like an idiot because he didn't know she already got them. I'm more worried about David and his enthusiasm about getting the knife...
6) She GLANCED AT THE WINDOW BEFORE she went over there! She was even facing that way when she woke up! If you saw someone sleeping on your fire escape, you would investigate! Kudos to her for being brave enough to look herself because if I saw someone on my fire escape I would have been scared (censored)-less!
7) Sure, she could have been more polite when she told Jack to go up on the roof. But put yourself in her place. The guy you like is sitting outside your window. You're not going to be all "Would you please be so kind as to go wait up on the roof while I prepare you a lovely breakfast to woo you with so you will fall in love with me?" No, you're going to want to sound cute and flirty. Saying "please" would have just ruined it.
8) "It's the same sun as here." Well, it is. Sorry to hurt your feelings, Cowboy.
9) Then there's the argument people make that she laughs at Jack when he asks her if him going to Santa Fe matters to her or not. I say that it is an extremely awkward situation for her to be in. The way I see it, her and Jack haven't established a real relationship yet, therefore, she doesn't know if it should matter to her or not. Either way, I would think it would be obvious by her smile and his that it does indeed, even just a little bit, matter!
10) Maybe the Bo Peep get up was in style for girls her age at the time.
11) I've seen complaints about how she wakes up with her hair looking perfect right when she gets out of bed before the rooftop scene. It's possible that she's a sound sleeper and doesn't move much at night, which is the reason people's hair gets messed up over night. And I don't know what shampoo you're using, but my hair doesn't look super terrible in the morning. To make you feel better, her hair gets messed up when her and Les have their run in with the Delanceys.
12) Yeah, she didn't cry when Jack left. I read somewhere that the real newsie strike last 2 weeks. Is 2 weeks really enough time to be upset enough to cry over someone leaving? (Forget about 'Dear John'!) Especially when you weren't with them a lot? Not in my book. She's sad, yeah, but she doesn't need to cry. She even smiles a little bit (in the shot of her before the one with her, Les and David)! That shows she accepts his Santa Fe dream. The other newsies, who have known him for possibly years, don't shed a tear; they go back to their regular business. Les is the only one who cries, but he's 10 so it's ok.
13) I know she also kisses him after only knowing him a short amount of time, but well, who wouldn't want to? Just because she wouldn't cry when he left doesn't mean she wouldn't kiss him when he came back.
14) Her voice. Really? You're really going to hate her for her voice? Seriously, kid?
15) I'm not even going to say anything if you think the fork/cake thing is a valid argument. It was a continuity problem the filmmakers made.
So there you have it, 15 points defending Sarah. There are possibly more I can think of, but 15 seems like a good, catchy-sounding number. I'm not going to be all "you must like Sarah now!" or anything. I just thought some people may get a little chuckle out of my comments :)
For those who still hate Sarah, enjoy-
Go to about 4:27 and keep your eyes on Sarah's face.