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A Very Brady Sequel

Released: 1996

Genre: Comedy

Runtime: 1 hr 30 min

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Arlene Sanford

Starring: Shelley Long, Tim Matheson, Gary Cole, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Christine Taylor

A film is directed by Arlene Sanford and stars Shelley Long and Gary Cole as Carol and Mike Brady.

This is based on an old TV series, but it is as far from a true story as can be.

Review by: SteveRhodes

Added: 8 years ago

As I was flipping through my notes, the first that came up for A VERY BRADY SEQUEL said, "based on a true story." Well, this is based on an old TV series, but it is as far from a true story as can be. The notes were from another movie I had seen recently. Here the people are pure plastic and the show is either hilarious camp or tedious failed attempts at comedy. There was one person in my audience that got it, but the rest of us stared at the screen waiting for the next little good line to come along. The saving grace of the picture is that the dialog by the writing committee of Jim Berg, Harry Elfont, Deborah Kaplan, and Stan Zimmerman does have some nice one liners every now and then.

I never saw THE BRADY BUNCH MOVIE, which my fellow critics tell me was better - I would hope so, or even the television series so perhaps I am not qualified to review this film, but I will anyway. My theory is that if you pay your seven dollars at the box office and drop another seven at the concession stand, you should be to enjoy a film without having to have already seen anything else. Actually, I am not sure having seen the original or the television series would have made this lame attempt at film making any more palatable.

The putative laugh-a-minute story this time opens with the very Brady kids Greg (Christopher Daniel Barnes), Marcia (Christine Taylor), Peter (Paul Sutera), Jan (Jennifer Elise Cox), Bobby (Jesse Lee) and Cindy (Olivia Hack) building a huge house of cards. Their figurative and literal house is soon broken up by the arrival of a man named Roy Martin (Tim Matheson) who claims to be Carol's (Shelley Long) thought to be dead first husband. This only mildly troubles her unflappable current husband Mike (Gary Cole), he being a Brady and all. Housekeeper Alice Nelson (Henriette Mantel) keeps the household running despite the changes.

There are some problems like her ex-husband doesn't sound or look like he used to. He easily explains this away since an elephant in Thailand stood on his face forcing surgery that changed his looks and his vocal chords. Sure. Well, it actually sounds funny when he says it.

Soon the cast is off to Hawaii which provides lots of nice visuals. It seems the Brady may own a twenty million dollar statue of a horse, and in Hawaii is a famous collector Dr. Whitehead (John Hillerman). There actually is not much of a plot. The show and the scenery are only pretexts for showing off all of the Brady's 1970 style outlandish bad taste in clothes and to make fun of their syrupy sweet life style.

Parts of the little subplots work and others don't. Marcia is obsessed with her beauty and everyone else's, especially her sister Jan's, lack of it. Marcia brags to everyone about her beauty and ridicules others. Most of these put-downs are off-the-wall enough to be funny.

In the most out-of-place aspect of the film, there is an incestuous relationship between the two oldest kids, Greg and Marcia. Perhaps in another film this would have not been so objectionable, but in this lighthearted little piece of family drama, it just does not belong.

Some of the dialog is worth a chuckle or two. When Dr. Whitehead meets Carol for the first time at his out of the way mansion, he declares, "You're a Jehovah's Witness." But she corrects him, "No, I'm a Brady." Definitely a different dogma. Her impostor first husband warns him, "You can't believe her. Look at the hair, the clothes, the constant cheerfulness." He has a point.

In a funny take off on the bad language of most movies today, the impostor tells Carol's real husband, "I'm going to kick your Brady butt." To which little Cindy is aghast, screaming, "Ooooooh, he said the B word."

In my favorite small part of the film Barbara Eden shows up in the epilogue as Jeannie from the TV show "I Dream of Jeannie." This epilogue has no real purpose of course. Remember the whole script was written by a committee.

A VERY BRADY SEQUEL runs 1:30. It is rated PG-13 for sex related humor. This show is fine for teenagers. If your kids are subteens, you might want to be careful. I know one mom of an 11 year old who thought it got too obscene and took her daughter out of the show. The mean time between jokes that work is too long for me to be able to recommend the film, but I did laugh a little. I give it * 1/2.