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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Growing Up Brady
Growing Up Brady
Paramount // PG-13 // May 25, 2004
List Price: $24.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Shannon Nutt | posted June 12, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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THE MOVIE

Most tell-all movies about Hollywood (and books for that matter, upon which this movie is based) tend to be tawdry in nature – telling of back-stabbing, drug use and sexual encounters. But that isn't the case with Growing Up Brady, based on Barry Williams' (who also Executive Produced and has a cameo) experiences on the set of The Brady Bunch. This is a surprisingly light-hearted and enjoyable film that does examine Robert Reed's (played here by Daniel Hugh Kelly) dissatisfaction with the series, but spends most of it's 88-minute running time just showing how much the cast cared for each other and enjoyed what they were doing.

The primary focus of the film is Barry Williams' (played by Adam Brody) growing infatuation with Maureen McCormick (played by 8 Simple Rules' Kaley Cuoco) as the series progresses. The romance between the two seems to have been much deeper than we would have ever guessed, and it's obvious from the way Barry tells his side of the story that he still has a great affection for Maureen, even if that affection never led to anything serious between the two of them.

The movie also covers Barry's noted crush on his TV mom, Florence Henderson (played by Rebeccah Bush), which doesn't amount to anything more than a nice dinner out and a goodnight kiss. But it's also Florence who helps Barry overcome his devastation when Maureen tells him that they can't be anything more than good friends at the end of the film.

As noted, the movie does cover Robert Reed's unhappiness at playing in the series, which he believed to be too slapstick in nature and not particularly well-written. But we also see how much Robert cared about his fellow cast members – particularly the children, whom he bought gifts for, took on vacations, and even looked out for them when they were signed by a somewhat shady music agent for their famous "Brady Kids" tour.

I was never a big fan of The Brady Bunch, but – like most, I suppose – I do have a soft spot for the show and the actors, probably because the program played such a big part of my childhood, and seeing it reminds me of when I was a young kid growing up. This isn't a great movie by any means, but it's always watchable and never mean-spirited – which, I suppose, makes it very much like the television show which it is about.

THE DVD

Video:
This made-for-TV film is presented in the full-frame format, which was the way it was shot. It appears to have been shot on video, rather than film, and some of the "brighter" scenes look a little over-saturated – particularly during split-screen segments (the famous Brady faces checkerboard) and scenes where boxes are used to portray vignettes of events happening. But for a TV-movie, the quality is still fairly decent.

Audio:
The audio is a 2.0 Dolby track, with nothing outstanding or remarkable about it. It serves it's purpose, and is comparable to other 2.0 tracks of TV movies that you may own.

Extras:
Other than a chapter selection, there are no extras whatsoever. It might have been nice to include a commentary from Williams or some interview material, but Brady fans will have to look elsewhere (hopefully a release of the series itself sometime in the future) for such bonus material about the show.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Unless you're obessesed with all things Brady, pick this one up as a rental. I probably won't watch Growing Up Brady again, but I enjoyed it while I was viewing it, and never got bored or uninterested with the events in the movie.
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