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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Brats 2024 * * 1/2 Stars


2024's Brats takes you back to a simpler time. You know, the early 80s, the early "Greed decade". I mean this is a documentary that revels in the past, not being able to let go of some adverse article written 39 years ago about some young, rising actors. The guide of Brats, well it's veteran trouper Andrew McCarthy, the dude that starred in Pretty in Pink and Less than Zero and 1983's Class. "I've never talked to anybody about what that was like". You are now Andrew, for reals. 

Now if you're my age (close to 50), you definitely know what I'm talking about in reference to Brats. I'm talking about the Brat Pack, those movie stars that appeared in a bunch of flicks about young people in coming-of-age mode. Remember St. Elmo's Fire, The Breakfast Club, and Oxford Blues? Yeah me too. They had Brat Pack people in them like McCarthy, Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson, Alley Sheedy, and Molly Ringwald. 

Decades later, McCarthy has decided to make a shuffled film about the legendary Brat Pack, burning both ends of the candle as director, producer, and unequivocal Greek chorus. Yup, it's a little strange to see what Andrew McCarthy is like in real-life, as he nervously seeks out former "Pack" members while trudging around Brats like he's some Woody Allen caricature via Annie Hall

Andrew, well he's obviously a little neurotic, and it's a little disconcerting that he fashions Brats as a therapy session for him or an exorcism of his Brat Pack demons if you will. If Brats were more an extensive account of the Brat Pack legacy and not a platform to facilitate McCarthy's boredom by bringing back the dead and buried, well I think the docu would work a little better. Regardless, Brats is ambitious and well-shot, giving the audience member grainy, 1980s archives, an effective sense of the camera peeking in, and perspicacious interviews from the people who were there and didn't make the cut, floundering in the Brat Pack trenches (Timothy Hutton, Lea Thompson, and Jon Cryer to name a few). "Pack" a slight punch. 

Written by Jesse Burleson

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