The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)

“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”

Justin’s Rating: Astroturf beats grass any day!

Justin’s Review: Before you gasp in utter disbelief that we, your trusty Mutant Reviewers, would recommend the Brady Bunch as a cult presence, you need to realize that this is NOTHING like the series or the weak made-for-TV movies. We wouldn’t do that to you. Well maybe we would, but we’d regret it in the morning.

The Brady Bunch Movie is a stroke of genius which uses an old cult sitcom in a twisted new way. The family, the house, the situations are all stuck in a ’70s mindset… except that they are now living in ’90s LA. Never have the ugly ’70s clashed so horribly (or so hilariously) with the garbled ’90s.

There’s a lot going on here, too. The IRS wants to claim their house, Mr. Brady tries to sell antiquated designs to his architecture firm, a lesbian falls in love with Marsha, Jan gets possessed, Cindy is an unwitting tattle-teller, Greg tries to become a rock star, Peter enters sex ed, and Bobby becomes a Gestapo-type security guard. It’s utterly bizarre — but it works splendidly. The world around them looks at them with disdain and treats them like crap, but the Bradys continue on with song, dance, and Mr. Brady’s numerous moral lectures.

For anyone who’s seen the original show, the numerous subplots and ’70s viewpoint are very familiar — some lifted directly from the show (such as Marcia getting hit with a football on the nose). If it wasn’t for the modern-day setting, then the potato sack race, the singing numbers, and the constant whining would be all but unbearable. But the clash of the two worlds results in a bright, hip comedy that features great quotes and smart, hilarious scenes. In an era where we are worshiping the seventies like it was the Golden Age of Everything, I love to see movies like this that remind us that the “far-out” expressions, hideous outfits, and unrealistic TV sitcoms was a 10-year joke from a higher power.

Part of what makes The Brady Bunch Movie so enjoyable to watch is that you think the Bradys are dorks, yet the ’90s environment in which they live is often stupid and mean. The melding of the two creates new outlooks on life, most of which are utterly insane.

Due to its episodic storytelling, The Brady Bunch Movie is perfect for those with short attention spans and parties in general. Trash the ’70s, trash the ’90s. It’s all good.

Very, very good.

PoolMan’s Rating: You know, it just might be me, but seeing a woman get hit in the butt with a newspaper occasionally provides for some great entertainment.

PoolMan’s Review: I started laughing the second this movie opened, and kept going for pretty much the whole time. The Brady Bunch Movie is a great study in humourous contrast. Not unlike the mega-successful Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, The Brady Bunch Movie features a cast of characters awkward decades out of date. The Bunch are pretty much as we remember them from the ’70s. Well, almost.

I think what grabbed me most is that on a surface level, Mike, Carol, and the whole Brady brood seem pretty much as they always have. There’s a Cleaveresque naivety to the group that’s a lot of fun. But what’s funnier are the constant references to life in the ’90s (carjacks, etc) . What’s even better is the sexual innuendoes abound, particularly between the Brady parents and Alice and Sam. It’s too much fun to pass up.

The plot is really just a device to move the gags along, but what did you expect? The entire neighbourhood is being sold off by one greedy neighbour, with the exception of the unwilling Bradys, to make room for a mall, or a parking lot, or a parking lot mall. Who can tell these days? Because said neighbour has been getting their mail, their taxes have gone unpaid, and their home is to be auctioned off. This leaves the family struggling to come up with a way to save the homestead. Of course, they’re unbelievably optimistic the whole time.

One particularly funny point that really is worth mentioning. The whole family isn’t so upbeat. Jan’s “inner voice” makes frequent voiceovers, and leans heavily in the mildly psychotic direction. Towards the end, you can’t help but be reminded of The Exorcist. Heaven help us!

The movie gets a little long in the tooth towards the end as we see the kids brainstorming on how to save their home from the impending doom of the auctioneer’s block, but on the whole, the film stays really light, and gives lots of good laughs.

Okay, it’s bubblegum for the mind, but hey, what’s wrong with that? Give it a rent. You’ll enjoy yourself.

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