How the Brady Bunch Movie Perfected TV-to-Movie Adaptations
Making a film based on a television series is not enviable. The successes, like Impossible missionare easily outnumbered by failures, such as Car 54, where are you? Where The Beverly Hillbillies. Not that the studios have given up trying – Rob Zombieis the restart of The Munsters prepares for release, for example. Still, it’s a careful balancing act, a reverence to the original TV series, combined with a hook that allows the film to stand on its own. And Brady Bunch movie information nailed it.
The 1995 film, directed by Betty Thomas, has a great premise: the Bradys live like they do on TV, with the set, costumes and mindset of the 1970s, but outside their backyard, it’s 1990s – grunge music and all – which they did not touch, although they live there. Instead of a mere copy of the original, it’s an amorous reimagining with a clever twist.
The first element that works in its favor is the casting. Not only do the characters look like they look on TV, but the cast is also in on the joke, so to speak, playing their roles straight up while slightly exaggerating their eccentricities, without resorting to outright mockery. Shelly Long as Carol Brady delivers the singsong optimism and supportive housewife of the original, Gary Cole as Mike Brady delivers swollen pearls of fatherly advice, like: “A gift is only a good thing when the giver has thought about that gift. But when the gift the giver gives causes grief, then that gift should give regrets to the donor.” Christine Taylor plays the innocent and beautiful Marcia, while Jennifer Elise Cox is absolutely fantastic as the slightly deranged and jealous Jan.
The scenes that take place in the Brady household are filled with references to the series that die-hard fans know and love. The accompanying musical notes. that of Peter (Paul Sutera) ‘Pork Chops and Applesauce’ slogan written on kitchen slate menu. Marcia gets hit in the nose by a soccer ball. The lack of a toilet in the bathroom. The iconic horse statue in the living room (which would be a plot device in the follow-up A very Brady sequel).
These are the real-world scenes, where the contrast between the Bradys and the 1990s generates the most memorable moments. The family trip to Sears that spawns a joyful, choreographed rendition of “It’s A Sunshine Day,” oblivious to the people watching. The failed carjacking attempt, where young hoodlum Eddie (Darion Brasco) is stunned by Greg (Christopher Daniel Barnes) friendly affirmation that his name is not Jack, and Marcia’s authentic “It was so nice meeting you.” School Guidance Counselor Mrs. Cummings (RuPaul), so used to contemporary student issues like teenage pregnancy, bulimia, and suicidal tendencies, that she is baffled by the simplicity of Jan’s dilemma with her glasses and middle child syndrome. Mike’s architectural projects which all look like his return home, much to his boss’ chagrin.
While the elements of reverence and the amusing dichotomy of two starkly different worlds work in the film’s favor, the true genius of the film is only seen by looking back: it’s not the Brady’s 1970s morals and values, but pieces from the 1990s that seem hopelessly outdated. Whether that’s intentional or not may be debatable, but there’s no doubt that it’s another side of the film that holds interest. Grunge music is no longer mainstream. Stick-thin models are giving way to models that are more representative of the consumer. You don’t have to go to the gym and build muscle to hold your car phone.
The Bradys, meanwhile, boast values that have never gone out of fashion and, surprisingly, an inclusiveness ahead of its time. When the Brady kids try to win $20,000 in a talent show, it’s their wholesome, variety show-worthy rendition of “Keep On Movin'” that wins them the prize. Yes, davy jones, Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork of Monkeys were the judges, but in reality, how often does the rotten apple, the troublemaker, win this type of competition? The closest might be Adam Lambertfinalist of the eighth season of american idol. Other, Idol, America’s Got Talent, The voice, and so on tend to reward safe and uncontroversial acts. When neighbors invade the Brady’s house, upset that the family hasn’t sold their home in order to clear the neighborhood for development, Mike delivers a timeless speech that turns the tide. It begins with “Our home is more important than money. This neighborhood is more important than money.” He then lists what makes the neighborhood special: borrowing each other’s power tools, caring for each other’s kids, Super Bowl parties, the daffodils Mrs. Simmons plants every year, and how Mrs. Topping walks around naked. in his living room. Mike gets the neighbors to see the bigger picture, the benefits of having a tight-knit community that has to be started over if they leave the neighborhood. Quite simply, it makes them see what was, is, and always will be more important than money. We who live in this Covid zone know only too well how right Mike is.
Which evokes inclusivity. Among the neighbors who confront Mike Brady is a gay couple. There are no secondary eyes, no exclusion, no singularization. They also stand among the crowd, and Mike, who would theoretically be against such a union, does nothing about it. They are welcome neighbors, period. Marcia’s best friend, Noreen (Alanna Ubach), is a lesbian, but Marcia is unfazed by this fact. Whether due to her naivety or a conscious decision, it’s a friendship that doesn’t address the homophobia of the time, and in fact allows Noreen, who knows her attraction to Marcia is not reciprocal, to find love at the school dance.
Brady Bunch movie information is one of the few television adaptations to take a risk with the property and was rewarded for taking on the challenge. It’s a groovy movie that’s trending in so many ways.