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A Very Brady Sequel

It's not often that a movie — especially a comedy based on a TV show — spawns a superior sequel. Wayne's World II? Shyeah, right. The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas Yabba dabba don't. That's why A Very Brady Sequel was such a pleasant surprise. In theaters just a year and a half after The Brady Bunch Movie made its own debut, the second film takes the original's gleeful "the Bradys meet the '90s" mockery and improves on it by adding a much stronger plot to structure the spoofs around. When the movie begins, the biggest problem in the Brady household is Greg (Christopher Daniel Barnes) and Marcia's (Christine Taylor) dispute over who gets to move into the attic. (Things are complicated by the pair's growing feelings for each other, a hilarious subplot that references rumors of behind-the-scenes action on the TV set.) But the Bradys' house of cards tumbles, literally, when a stranger (Tim Matheson) shows up claiming to be Carol's long-lost first husband Roy. The viewer quickly discovers that Roy is a con man who's after a priceless horse statue — which just happens to have found a home in the oblivious Bradys' shag-carpeted living room. But the Bradys don't catch on for awhile, which gives them plenty of opportunity to freak Roy out with their constant cheerfulness and G-rated problems. (Highlights include the gang's musical interlude at the mall and Roy's unexpected trip-out at the dinner table.) The action picks up when Roy grabs Carol (Shelley Long) and the horse and heads for Hawaii, leaving Mike (Gary Cole) and the kids no choice but to don their best flowered shirts and hop on the next plane (their in-flight song is one of the movie's best bits). Since this is the Brady Bunch we're dealing with, there's little question about how things will turn out, but a few last-minute twists and revelations make for a satisfying ending. There's no shortage of references to the original show either, from Jan's (Jennifer Elise Cox) made-up boyfriend to Cindy's (Olivia Hack) obsession with her doll, Kitty Cary-all. It's fluff, but that's what you expect from the Bradys — well, that and Astroturf, anyway. Paramount's DVD (like that for The Brady Bunch Movie) offers no extras, but does include several audio options: English DD 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround tracks, as well as a French Stereo Surround option and English subtitles. And the anamorphic transfer (1.85:1) is more than up to the bright colors of the Bradys' house and clothes. Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech

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