The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)

THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE is less a motion picture than a minor pop event.
Forget your reruns and forget your Nick at Nite; this dead-on recreation
of the fabled seventies sitcom is both so exhilarating *and* so
disturbing that you half-expect to see the ghost of Rod Serling appear
in the narrative.

Did we really act this way twenty years ago?  Of course not.  The genius
of THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE is how it heightens the surreality of the
Family Unit From Hell by fast-forwarding them into the future.  It's
1995 and Greg still calls the chicks "groovy," and Marsha still
considers hair-brushing the high point of her day.  Bell bottoms are in,
and Alice has yet to move out.

Nothing has changed within the garish walls of Brady Manor and, so, the
plot has the family stepping out into the real world, where they are
confronted by everything from carjackers to lesbians.  Granted, nothing
*too* serious happens here.  With the exception of some heavy sexual
innuendo, THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE is about as sanitary as the source
material.  And that's too bad.

Director Betty Thomas (of TV's "Hill Street Blues" fame) doesn't cut
between real-life and Brady-life enough to make the contrast as glaring
as it should be.  The edge isn't sharp enough.  *We* know that what
we're watching is funky, though, so it's not that much of a problem.

Nor are the glaring low production standards.

The cast is uniformly appealing.  Shelly Long seems to have found her
niche under awful hair, while Gary Cole is right on the mark with Dad's
sing-song truisms.  Christine Taylor is the best of the Brady kids.
She's a cheery delight as Marsha *and* is a dead ringer for Maureen
McCormick.  Her foil is Jennifer Elise Cox, who is a howl as the
brooding Jan.

BTW, my crush was always on Eve Plumb.

BOTTOM LINE:   Excruciatingly dopey, which is exactly why we watched it
               in the first place.

Grade: B+

Copyright 1995 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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