Bratz The Movie Parent Review
I'll admit I'm out of my league when it comes to the Bratz. Having all sons, we've missed the craze at our house. However, I've seen enough of the dolls with their sexy clothes, brash attitudes and come-hither looks to know they're not necessarily the kind of girls I want my boys bringing home.
Surely though, with millions of dollars in sales, someone is bringing the Bratz home. And in an era when a movie can be more about marketing than it is about storyline, it seemed only a matter of time until the girls should venture onto the big screen. The problem was how to bring those flaunting fashionistas to life and still earn a PG rating that would allow their hordes of little fans to see their film.
Director Sean McNamara appears to have skirted the problem by toning down their provocative personas and dramatically improving their modesty levels. He's also sent them off to high school as fresh-faced freshmen where they encounter the clique-riddled campus of Carry Nation, reigned over by a bad-to-the-bone, self-centered snob of a student body president, Meredith Dimly (Chelsea Staub). As the daughter of the school's principle, a cowering dimwit aptly named Dimly (and unfortunately played by veteran actor John Voight), she runs the school with an iron fist and maintains her popularity by keeping everyone segregated into their assigned factions.
But after two years of cowering to Meredith's wishes and going their separate ways---Jade (Janel Parrish) as a science/home-ec geek, Chloe (Skyler Shaye) as a soccer star, Sasha (Logan Browning) as a cheerleader and Yasmin (Nathalia Ramos) as a journalist and wanna-be singer---the girls realize they still want to be friends. That's when they decide to break free of Meredith's tyrannical rule and stoop to some revengeful tactics of their own.
However, while they talk about breaking up the cliques, it is more common to see these BFFs (Best Friends Forever) hanging out in the mall. Invited to Meredith's second Super Sweet 16 extravaganza, the first thing the foursome has to do is find something new to wear. Unfortunately, Chloe (the impoverished girl who has still managed to go through numerous outfit changes) laments she has nothing to wear and no money to buy new clothes. Luckily for her, Jade has not one, but two, gold-enveloped gift certificates from her divorced parents who are competing for her love and she magnanimously passes one on to Chloe so that the girls' consumer frenzy won't be interrupted by a lack of funds.
It's a blatant buy, buy, buy attitude with extravagant parties (complete with an elephant and MTV film crew), and a feel good finale that rivals anything Broadway could muster up on stage.
To its credit, most of the film's content is as bland as the girl's personalities. Other than Meredith's treacherous acts, there is little more than brief profanities, a couple of super short skirts, a few quick smooches and some schoolyard fights. The moviemakers also temper the consumerism by showing the girls working together for a common goal.
Still Bratz: The Movie is little more than 90 minutes of painful fluff. However, if this latest trend is something your daughter just can't miss, at least these modified Bratz are a tamer version of what you'll find on store shelves.Starring Nathalia Ramos, Janel Parrish, Logan Browning, Skyler Shaye. Running time: 110 minutes. Updated April 2, 2009
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Bratz The Movie here.
Bratz The Movie Parents Guide
In this film, the bad characters are very, very bad and the good characters are very, very good. Is this a realistic portrayal? How accurate is the film’s depiction of high school?
Cliques are a major theme in the movie. Why do people form cliques? Can a person be a member of only one interest group? Does the constant portrayal of cliques in movies reinforce the idea in a real high school setting?
In what ways do the girls support and help each other? How do they deal with their ethnic, financial and interest differences?