“Put on your Sunday best, kids. We’re going to Sears!”
I’m probably like a lot of people, in that I hate The Brady Bunch as a television show but I love the 1995 film version. Of course, the film version acknowledges a lot of the things that make the TV show so difficult to sit through. For instance, whenever I watch the TV show, I’m stuck by the fact that Robert Reed’s Mike Brady is kind of a jerk and he really doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about half of the time. Fortunately, in the movie, Gary Cole plays Mike Brady as being kind of a jerk who really doesn’t know what he’s talking about. On the TV show, I’m always amazed that no one ever points out how dorky Greg Brady is or how no one ever seems to notice that Jan is slowly losing her mind. The movie, however, is all about how dorky Greg is and how Jan is slowly losing her mind.
“Marcia Marcia Marcia!” Jan (played by Jennifer Elise Cox) exclaims and the audience is instantly divided between neglected middle children and those of us who were maybe a little bit spoiled when we were growing up.
“Johnny Bravo was just Johnny Rotten,” Greg (played by Christopher Daniel Barnes) confesses and it’s tempting to tell Greg not to be too hard on himself but it’s true. That clown song really sucked and I don’t blame everyone for running away whenever Greg started to sing.
“Your father’s right, kids!” Carol (Shelley Long) says after every one of Mike’s long-winded soliloquies and the film hints that Carol might actually understand that Mike is rarely right but Carol is determined to do whatever needs to be done to keep the Bunch moving forward. Myself, I’m more concerned by how long it’s taking Carol to read Jonathan Livingston Seagull. My aunt owns a copy of that book and, if I remember correctly, it’s pretty short.
All of the Bradys (and Alice, too) get a chance to show off what they can do in The Brady Bunch Movie. They’ve all pretty much got the same quirks as they did in the series but what made them so annoying on television actually makes them rather endearing in the film. Of course, the film finds the Bradys living in the 90s, surrounded by crime, pollution, loud music, and a dastardly plot to steal their house. (That’s what they get for living next door to veteran comedy villain Michael McKean). The thing is that, while the rest of the world is a mess, the Bradys themselves still act and dress like they did on their television show. They’re literally a family out of time. That’s not a problem with Marcia, who all the boys love despite the 70s fashion sense and the belief that a hand on the knee is moving too fast. But the rest of the family definitely sticks out, like a sore but always cheerful thumb. And yet, because everyone around them is so obnoxious, it’s hard not to appreciate the Bradys and their nonstop earnestness. They’re an antidote to everything negative in the world. All they had to do was remain clueless about everything happening outside of their front door.
The Brady Bunch Movie makes me laugh every time I watch it. It’s one of those films that I watch whenever I’m feeling extremely down. It’s impossible not to be cheered up when the Bradys start dancing through Sears, amazed by the sight of their faces on television while Mike and Carol carefully examine a virbator in the background. I’m thankful for this film. It makes me laugh.
Every day is a sunshine day with the movie Bradys.
The television Bradys can go to Hell.