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Brats (2024)

Brats (2024)

A member of the Brat Pack confronts his troubled past in this confessional, borderline indulgent documentary



Canada, United States of America
Ally Sheedy, Andrew McCarthy, Bret Easton Ellis
92 min


It’s not an educational, well-rounded film about the titular “brats” of the ‘80s but it is an admirably thoughtful rumination of fame.

What it's about

Director Andrew McCarthy interviews fellow Brat Pack members Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Jon Cryer, and more to explore the origins and implications of the “brat” label.

The take

If you’re coming into this expecting to relive your favorite ‘80s coming-of-age moments from The Breakfast Club to St. Elmo’s Fire, then you’ll get a taste of that, but don’t expect to be fully satisfied. Instead, the reunion that happens in Brats resembles group therapy more than anything. Here, director Andrew McCarthy (Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo’s Fire) seems to be on a journey to heal from his troubled past, which he believes was caused, in part, by a defamatory article that called him and a crop of young actors in the ‘80s “The Brat Pack.” The film follows McCarthy as he travels across the country to discuss the label with fellow Brat Packers, who funnily enough, don’t share his contempt for it. Sure, they’re annoyed, but they’ve moved on for the most part. McCarthy on the other hand doesn’t possess the self-awareness to know this, which is perhaps why he’s fallen trap to the Streisand Effect. “The Brat Pack” isn’t nearly as negative as he thinks it to be, but because he keeps ranting about it, he's unwittingly fueling the accusations against him. He just might be the vain celebrity, the brat, he claims he's not. Still, the documentary has its moments. The way it’s modestly filmed is charming and inventive, the artful blend of old footage and 80s music hits the nostalgic spot, and the conversations can be interesting. Who would’ve thought Demi Moore would be the wisest person in the room?

What stands out

Almost half of the film is about McCarthy and company debating who is part of the Brat Pack, and it’s fun to see them fail to reach a consensus. Everyone says Jon Cryer is in even though he vehemently disagrees. Moore is questionable, even though she’s part of the core St. Elmo’s group. McCarthy wisely pairs this with the fun, recognizable songs that can be heard in Brat Pack films like Ferris Bueller's Day Off, effectively capturing the youthful spirit that defined that era.


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