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The Brady Bunch Movie Review

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Whilst everyone else has dragged themselves into the 90s, the Bradys are still rooted in the 70s and holding on to their sitcom values. However, evil neighbour Mr Ditmeyer is determined to destroy their utopia by demolishing the family home and building a mall. The Bradys must come together to fight him (in a non-violent way, of course)!

★★★★

While the initial idea of bringing the 70s most whiter-than-white family to the big screen might invoke suicidal thoughts in anyone who saw The Beverly Hillbillies, this TV to movie leaper is an unexpected treat. It manages to retain its eye-straining outfits, hummable theme tune and all-round feelgood persona without ever feeling dated or laboured.

The main joke is that while the outside world has dragged itself into the 90s, chez Brady things are still very much as they were on 70s TV - flared of trouser, pointy of collar, and distinctly rose-coloured, with an inherent chirpiness that defies such modern niceties as smog warnings or car-jackings. Over the fence, however, things ain't so perfect: their neighbour, Mr. Ditmeyer (McKean) wants to demolish the family home to make way for a shopping mall, and is prepared to go to any lengths to see they submit.

Things may look bleak for the Bradys, but their ability to apply their duff homespun wisdom to every crisis carries the film to its almost inevitable conclusion, while the world of 70s sitcom-land dishes up a plethora of sub-plots for the Brady siblings to wrestle with. Bad nose days and ghastly hippy love songs are both on the agenda, but its truly middle-child Jan Brady's paranoid schizophrenia which gets the giggle motor going.

And here you have the movie's true, deliciously subversive, cunning. The scriptwriters have taken an almost post-modern glee in dissecting the glossy, moralistic world of this family of eight, running a range of real-life issues - homosexuality, school shrinks, modelling, food fadism, teenage sex - by way of their plastic sensibilities. It's more a tribute to the Bradys than a film about them, backed up by appearances from a number of the original cast.

A bizarre juxtaposition of forgettable Friday night fluff and a wicked attack on sitcom values, this is enormous fun, one of the best TV adaptations to date, and guaranteed to provoke a nostalgic misty eye and mischevious grin in anybody who's ever owned a crimplene tank top.

This is enormous fun, one of the best TV adaptations to date, and guaranteed to provoke a nostalgic misty eye and mischevious grin in anybody who's ever owned a crimplene tank top.