187. The Brady Bunch Movie

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Movie: The Brady Bunch Movie

Release Date: February 17, 1995

Director: Betty Thomas

Starring: Shelley Long, Gary Cole, Michael McKean, Christine Taylor.

Tag Lines: “They’re back to save America from the ’90s.”

Relevance: Born in 1971, I don’t ever remember a time in my life when “The Brady Bunch” was irrelevant. Although I am pretty sure I did not watch the show when it originally aired from 1969 through 1974 (I may have, I just don’t recall), I was there for all of the re-runs. As a kid in the 1970’s, it was on our television daily. I was a huge fan of Mike, Carol, Greg, Marcia, Peter, Jan, Bobby, Cindy, Alice and Sam the Butcher. They were my second family. I was there for “The Brady Bunch Hour,” “The Brady Girls Get Married,” “The Brady Brides,” “A Very Brady Christmas” and “The Bradys.” I even read Barry William’s autobiography “Growing Up Brady: I Was a Teenage Greg.” So it was not a surprise that I was more than ready for ‘The Brady Bunch Movie.’

The satirical film of the infamous sitcom surprisingly received decent reviews from critics and was considered a box office hit. Regardless of those two facts, I was going to love it anyway. And boy did I ever. It was silly and ridiculous and everything I wanted from the movie. It was a charming homage to one of my favorite pop culture entities and I simply adored it. Although a parody, it kept the innocence of the original show and poked fun at it, but never once ridiculed it. Simply put, it was groovy.

The cast that they gathered to fill the iconic roles was nothing short of perfection. Everyone delivered the goods, from Mr. and Mrs. Brady right down to Sam the Butcher. Definite standouts though were Christine Taylor as Marcia and Jennifer Elise Cox as Jan. They gave two wonderfully satirical comedic performances. I couldn’t get enough of them. And the wonderful cameos throughout the film from the original show gave this super duper fan a lot of nostalgia to relish.

As soon as the movie became available as a rental, I rented it and watched it again. The more I watched it, the more I fell in love with it. I bought the VHS as soon as I was able to and was in line for the sequel, ‘A Very Brady Sequel’ in 1996. My love for the Brady’s never diminished. I now own the DVD to all five seasons of the original show as well as the two movies. I reference and quote all of them constantly in my life. ‘The Brady Bunch Movie’ was the perfect movie for this Brady fan and will be watched for years to come. Viva la Brady Bunch!

Today’s Thoughts: “Marcia did it again. Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!”

If you do not like “The Brady Bunch” or ‘The Brady Bunch Movie,’ we cannot be friends. No discussion. Luckily, my husband is a huge fan as well and sat down to watch the movie with me today. We laughed. A lot. And that’s all you really need from this now twenty-five year old comedy.

Every time that I watch this movie, which is now countless, I have the urge to re-watch the entire series. That solidifies to me how good of a parody this movie really is. It’s simply fantastic. Beautifully directed by Betty Thomas, it is campy fun yet affectionate and charming. A lot of that credit has to go to the actors. Again, sheer perfection. There really isn’t a weak link in the entire ensemble. Every Brady kid is superb. The dueling sisters will always be a highlight, but even the “little” Brady’s played effectively by Jesse Lee Soffer and Olivia Hack have wonderfully funny moments. The off color Dittmeyers are always a stand-out to me as well. Michael McKean and Jean Smart are two seasoned comedic actors and are such an added element of humor to this already laugh out loud film. “We’ll be so rich you can hire an Eskimo to sit on your face.”

“The Brady Bunch” will always remain an important part of my childhood. They are true Gen-X TV icons. Thanks to ‘The Brady Bunch Movie’ that continued well into my adulthood where they will remain forever. Even cousin Oliver.

“Sure Jan.”

Awards: Casting Society of America Award for Best Casting for Feature Film, Comedy, Deborah Aquila, Jane shannon-Smith (nomination).

Ways to Watch: YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Hulu, Sling TV, Starz, DVD Availability.

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