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The Brady Bunch Movie
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this send-up of the wholesome 1970s TV show isn't quite as wholesome -- there's swearing, sibling rivalry, and sexual innuendo. There are jokes about sex, condoms, and the alcoholic Mrs. Dittmeyer is constantly hitting on the Brady men. Doug talks about Marcia like she's an object and calls her a "slut" when she refuses to have sex with him on the first date. One teen drinks. Another steals cars. Several swear. A girl in Marcia's class has a crush on her.
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What's the story?
THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE takes the classic storylines from the TV show and twists them, making them bawdier, lewder, and freakish -- basically, it turns the perfect, happy Brady family into freaks. The whole gang is back in the film spoof: Carol (Shelley Long), Mike (Gary Cole), Greg (Christopher Daniel Barnes), Marcia (Christine Taylor) and the rest of the gang are still wearing their vintage 1970s fashions. But in the outside world, it's the 1990's. Teens wear grunge flannels and dark colors, the parents are horrible or alcoholic and greed rules the day. When the Bradys discover that they owe $20,000 in property taxes in a week or they'll lose their house, they try to find a way to avoid the inevitable. But can they get the money before sleazy neighbor Larry Dittmeyer (the perfect Michael McKean) buys their house and turns the neighborhood into a strip mall?
Is it any good?
For those who grew up watching the TV show, The Brady Bunch Movie is deeply satisfying and the best part is its nostalgia. Sure, it's fun to see the Bradys treated as freaks. But the heart of the film is a campy, affectionate interpretation of the TV show.
The film takes all the most iconic moments -- Cindy struggling to get rid of her lisp, Jan's sibling rivalry with Marcia, Peter's (Paul Sutera) cracking voice, Marcia's "Oh my nose!" moment, and Greg's Johnny Bravo delusions -- and inserts the heckling that hipsters have done at the show for years. So instead of Jan just being jealous of Marcia, she's got voices in her head telling her to kill people, and her school counselor, RuPaul, tells her to "work it, girl!" It's good, '90s-specific humor.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about parodies. Why do you think a show like The Brady Bunch was an easy target? Kids who are behind on their reruns can have parents explain some of the in-jokes. Do you think life in the early '70s was as innocent and tame as the TV show made it out to be, or was the Brady attitude an escapist one even back then? What other movies or even Youtube clips have you seen parody mainstream entertainment?
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