Why would a 49 year-old guy watch "Bratz"? Well, he could be a totally sick freak (I swear, I am not...though that's what freaks would say also...but I am not!!). But in my case (again, I swear) it's because I have a goal of seeing as many horrible films as possible before I die. I am not talking about run of the mill bad--those films I avoid. I am talking about really, really, REALLY bad movies. So, after seeing all 50 of the films on Harry Medved's amazing book "The 50 Worst Films of All Time", I needed a new challenge--IMDb's Bottom 100 list. While I have made a very impressive dent on this list, some films (such as the Turkish ones) are just about impossible to find with subtitles or dubbing AND they keep adding films all the time to the list (such as "Bratz" which only recently entered the list despite being released in 2007).
I should point out that technically, "Bratz" is not a bad film in the traditional sense. The cinematography, sets, costumes (the the girls wear thousands each) and music are all very professional--so I think a score of 1 is unmerited--even if it IS a vacuous film. When I say vacuous, I mean that it is written with no subtlety and is designed for incredibly stupid kids in the 10-14 age bracket. Now if you have a valueless, undemanding and rather clueless kid in this age group and you like them to be this way, then perhaps it IS a film to rent or even buy. After all, while very, very stupid, the film is squeaky clean--as the corporate types behind this mega-marketed film know this would make the film non-threatening and acceptable viewing for this age group.
So why is the writing so bad? Wow...this is like shooting fish in a barrel! The characters are all completely one-dimensional and more caricatures than something written by a professional screenwriter. The nasty girl at school is 0% real--but so are the four 'Bratz'. These girls are all PERFECT and represent carefully coiffed images--sort of like junior Spice Girls. One is great at math and science....and hot. One is great at music....and hot. One is brilliant....and hot. And the other is great at sports...and hot. This film is about their fabulous adventures in high school*.
Now I must interject something that really bothered me about this film. As I mentioned above, this is just a corporate attempt to further whore off the Bratz name. The Bratz dolls are marketed to young kids--very young kids. And, in a completely cynical attempt to be BOTH non-threatening and pretending to be inclusive, three of the Bratz are ethnic. Now I am NOT talking ethnic is a real manner. Nope. It's a CORPORATE style of ethnicity. The black girl has non-brown eyes, talks EXACTLY like any white kid and is groomed just like a white kid. The Asian kid is vaguely Asian and you only know that she is part Asian at the film's conclusion when you see her mother. And, the Hispanic kid looks 100% non-Hispanic white and speaks with no accent and throws out occasional Spanish words for no discernible reason. As for her family, like the actress they don't look or sound the least bit Hispanic (Lainie Kazan?!). When this girl and her mother sing "La Cucaracha", it is pathetic--with no accent AND they don't even know the words! But wait...they at least have a disabled kid, right?! Well, sort of. He's hot, does NOT wear a hearing aid or cochlear implant (they would be SO gross....ewww!!) and yet, inexplicably, speaks perfectly and seems to function 100% normally. In fact, to deafness, he's a lot like what Daredevil is to blindness!! I really think that the corporate-type schmucks responsible for this terrible film just think that REAL blacks, Asians, Hispanics and disabled kids are not stylish enough to be in a Bratz film.
A few final quibbles. First, how did Jon Voigt get in this film? Does he need the money THAT badly? If so, I am sure we could all take up a collection to help him avoid similar mistakes in the future. Second, I cannot believe that the film managed to insert classical music into it--making me almost hate the tunes. Third, I know I am thinking too much here, but who would let the bad girl bring a dog to school? I know her dad is supposed to be the principal, but bringing along a dog (obviously a knockoff of "Legally Blonde") just shows bad writing (duh...this IS a bad film!!). Overall, I see "Bratz" as a vapid, valueless and crappy film with no redeeming merits. And, given its place on the IMDb Bottom 100, I can tell that I'm not alone here!
*Oddly, while the characters all appear to be about high school age, I cannot imagine high school-age kids watching this one unless you drug them!
Action / Comedy / Family / Music
Action / Comedy / Family / Music
Four best friends start high school. Each one is unique and likes their own thing; Chloe joins the soccer team, Sasha joins the cheer leading squad, Jade is part of the math club. While the other girls hang out with their chosen crowds, Yasmin is left all alone. When Meredith, the most popular girl, sees this she automatically knows they are trouble. After years of not talking to each other Jade and Yasmin speak a few words in the restroom but Yasmin doesn't have the courage to tell Jade she misses her. The four girls are reunited when they are sent to detention for causing a food fight. The reunited foursome find out they are not invited to a huge party given by Meredith. Worse, Chloe finds out that her mom has a job serving food at the party. They are forced to work for Meredith. At the party, Meredith decides to expose Yasmin's secret (her dancing and singing with a face mask.) When Yasmin's brother starts doing a dance and everybody joins in, Meredith is humiliated. When Meredith accidentally gets thrown into the pool she calls the four best friends "bratz." The girls decide to be part of the talent show to win a scholarship. Meredith is always the one who wins, yet the "bratz" are prepared to take her down. Meredith renews her threats to Yasmin; if she continues preparing for the show, Meredith will expose her friend's secrets. Yasmin decides to call everything off. In the end, the girls do the talent show, and boldly tell everybody their secrets which turn out not to be so bad after all. The girls win and each end up with their respective crushes. The girls decide to give Chloe the scholarship. The movie ends with the girls walking down a red carpet.
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