What's new

Brats (2024)

DaveF

Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
29,079
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
Title: Brats (2024)

Tagline: What did it mean to be part of the Brat Pack?

Genre: Documentary

Director: Andrew McCarthy

Cast: Andrew McCarthy, Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Jon Cryer, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Lea Thompson, Timothy Hutton, Judd Nelson, Mare Winningham, David Blum

Release: 2024-06-07

Runtime: 92

Plot: In the 1980s, Andrew McCarthy was part of a young generation of actors who were set to take over Hollywood after a string of successful teen movies. However, when the New York magazine cover story in 1985 dubs them the Brat Pack, stars in the making suddenly find themselves losing control over the trajectory of their careers. Now, almost forty years later, McCarthy looks to reconnect with peers and co-stars — Emilio Estevez, Jon Cryer, Lea Thompson, Rob Lowe, Ally Sheedy, and Demi Moore — so that together they can reflect on their respective legacies.

 

DaveF

Moderator
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2001
Messages
29,079
Location
Catfisch Cinema
Real Name
Dave
Watched Brats last night. It was fun and nostalgic. It works in two ways for me. First, as a celebrity piece, giving a glimpse inside the personal lives and emotions and career arcs of famous and rich-ish people that had cultural significance to me.

Secondly, it’s about connecting with friends not seen in 30 years, for emotional catharsis over slights real or imagined from decades prior, and even for some healing of personal trauma not fully processed since one’s youth. And that’s a pretty universal desire. There are friends I’ve lost touch with over the years, just from the course of life, that I wonder about and sometimes wish to reconnect with revisit those former friendships. And I’ve had my challenges and setbacks in my 20’s and I wonder about what might have been, had things gone differently. The desire to re-examine and be more fully at peace with my life course is something I understand.

Andrew McCarthy’s search for his lost fame has normal-life resonance.

The film falters at the end some, for me, when he wraps up in a too celebrity self-indulgent manner.

The film is also weakened because of who it’s missing:
* Molly Ringwald
* Judd Nelson

These are real people with their own real emotional lives to be happy with. So there’s no slight that they didn’t choose to participate in someone’s little quest for personal healing, that they haven’t seen in 30+ years.

But as a viewer, for my own nostalgia, not having the first of those two people in this doc, was a significant letdown.

Overall: mildly recommended if ‘80s nostalgia hits you in the feels and want a chill 90 minute movie.
 

Walter Kittel

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 28, 1998
Messages
9,902
I viewed this yesterday and had a somewhat mixed reaction...

I enjoyed the trip down memory lane, seeing the various film clips, and reliving the youth movement in cinema of the early '80s. It was enjoyable to see so many of the faces from that time and get a glimpse at where they were in contemporary times. One of the more interesting segments was Andrew McCarthy's segment with writer David Blum who originated the term 'Brat Pack'.

On the other hand it did veer into self-indulgence at times. Returning to normalcy, of a sort, after achieving fame at a young age can be an adjustment; but you are still so incredibly privileged compared to the vast majority of mankind. In other words - No whining on the yacht.

Despite that, I would also give it a mild recommendation for those wishing to experience some '80s nostalgia.

- Walter.
 

Bryan^H

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
9,617
I'm really upset that Molly Ringwald wasn't in this. Especially after hearing her audio commentary in Pretty in Pink regarding Andrew McCarthy!! I thought she would be first in line to reminisce
 

Winston T. Boogie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Messages
12,011
Location
Agua Verde
Real Name
Pike Bishop
Follow up from the author of the original story, David Blum, and who appears in Brats.

Interesting article that lays out how the guy that came up with Brat Pack was not talking about all of the people that ended up getting labeled Brat Packers. I do remember this time, fairly well. He is right that the group of people he was calling the Brat Pack were known for crappy behavior but I think it was Bill Murray that once said that you've got to allow everybody that suddenly gets famous at least a year or two to act like total assholes, but at some point they hopefully pull out of that.

Most of the Brat Pack did, or whomever people label the Brat Pack, pull out of the asshole behavior.

I remember the movies, and some of them I thought were quite good. I was not really into the Brat Pack, even though I had just graduated from high school in 1985. It was a moment, where this group of young actors were seemingly about to assume the mantel of the new stars of Hollywood, and there still was a Hollywood at that moment.

I associated the "Brat Pack" with basically that group of people that were in St. Elmo's Fire and essentially, teen movies or John Hughes movies. At that moment, I did not really think of Hutton, Cruise, Dillon, Penn as Brat Packers. Honestly, the actors of the 1980s I thought were the "next big things" were people like Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, William Hurt, Debra Winger, Glen Close, Kathleen Turner, Richard Gere, and that gang...but they did not have a name that grouped them all together.

To me a Brat Packer was someone that would appear in teen movies and John Hughes films. The way I saw St. Elmo's Fire was that it was an attempt to make a Brat Pack version of The Big Chill.
 
Last edited:

Winston T. Boogie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Messages
12,011
Location
Agua Verde
Real Name
Pike Bishop
I did watch this the other night. I am not the target audience for this film because I was not really, even though I was the right age, into or following the Brat Pack and the films they made. It is interesting that part of what the documentary is about is who was in the Brat Pack and what films were Brat Pack pictures. There does not seem to be any agreement on that. The Brat Pack seems to be whatever it is to you personally.

The writer that came up with the name Brat Pack was referring to a group of young actors, all male, that basically were the new faces that were taking Hollywood by storm. So, he had Sean Penn listed as being one of the Brat Pack. I never thought about Penn being in the Brat Pack but basically what the writer was doing was making a small joke about this poorly behaved bunch of guys that appeared to be the next generation of leading men and obviously comparing them, due to the drinking behavior, to the Rat Pack.

Point is, you decide what the Brat Pack is, who they were, and what films were Brat Pack films. St. Elmo's Fire seems to be the quintessential film and the one that caused the creation of the name. The guy that came up with the name though I do not think was giving any thought to a list of films or to a list of actors. He was just referring to young leading men he met through Emilio Estevez, who when he met them, were running around town drinking and enjoying the attention they were getting from women. That's it.

So, in a way, this documentary is kind of Andrew McCarthy figuring out what the name Brat Pack had to do with his life. What it meant to him, and what, if any, part he had in it. The way I saw the film was as kind of a therapy session for McCarthy. He's going around talking to people that other people may have listed as being in the Brat Pack, but in truth...the name was a label for young leading men that were hot at the time.

So, Molly Ringwald did not participate in the film, but in truth, she was not in the Brat Pack. There were no women in it.

I guess the question is, who do you think was in the Brat Pack and what films do you think were Brat Pack films. To me it is a short list and does not include pictures like Taps, The Falcon and the Snowman, Coppola's S.E. Hinton films, Risky Business, or a film like About Last Night...although, according to the guy that coined the phrase Brat Pack, I think those films were on his list of Brat Pack films because his list included all the films with these new male leads.

To some people though, I think Brat Pack means John Hughes films, and anything with Molly Ringwald...which in a kind of funny way, I don't think the guy that came up with the name gave much thought to. He was writing an article about the next generation of male lead actors and specifically Emilio Estevez because not only was he acting but he was also going to direct. I actually think Molly Ringwald was right to pass on doing this documentary because she was not at all a young male lead actor that was out carousing at night.

So, who do you guys think was in the Brat Pack and what films do you see as Brat Pack movies?
 

Joe Wong

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 8, 1999
Messages
2,753
I've seen definitions that say The Breakfast Club and St Elmo's Fire as the 2 main films that members of the Brat Pack (BP) appeared in. Mare Winningham (in SEF) is usually not thought of as being in the BP, however.

If John Hughes films is a criterion, then what about Ferris Bueller's Day Off? But Matthew Broderick is not usually considered a BP-er.

I think part of it may be the activities and circles the members moved in.
 

TonyD

Who do we think I am?
Ambassador
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 1, 1999
Messages
24,260
Location
Gulf Coast
Real Name
Tony D.
The way I saw St. Elmo's Fire was that it was an attempt to make a Brat Pack version of The Big Chill.

That was The Breakfast Club for me.

I enjoyed this Brats movie.
Back then after the phrase was coined we didn’t really think much of it.
Sounds like they thought more about it then anyone else.

When I thought of The Brat pack it was more of an homage to The Rat Pack so it seemed like a compliment to be considered the New Rat pack and get their own name for it too.
 

JoeStemme

Screenwriter
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
1,058
Real Name
Joseph
Follow up from the author of the original story, David Blum, and who appears in Brats.

It's interesting going back to the original source. The only true "Brat Pack" members are Estevez, Lowe and Nelson. Tom Cruise, Timothy Hutton, Nic Cage, Sean Penn, Matt Dillon, Matthew Broderick and Matthew Modine are cited in a listing. McCarthy is mentioned. So is Moore - but, only as a girlfriend. And, what of the pretty much forgotten Clayton Rohner?
It's amazing that a magazine article and really just a handful of films can endure as a label 35 years later.
 

Winston T. Boogie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Messages
12,011
Location
Agua Verde
Real Name
Pike Bishop
I've seen definitions that say The Breakfast Club and St Elmo's Fire as the 2 main films that members of the Brat Pack (BP) appeared in. Mare Winningham (in SEF) is usually not thought of as being in the BP, however.

If John Hughes films is a criterion, then what about Ferris Bueller's Day Off? But Matthew Broderick is not usually considered a BP-er.

I think part of it may be the activities and circles the members moved in.

I will admit, I never saw the article that was the genesis of the term Brat Pack back then. I became aware of the term from the girls in high school. I thought John Hughes was the guy that was responsible for the Brat Pack and if you had asked me back then what I thought the "Brat Pack" was I would have said "The actors in John Hughes movies."

So, the thing this documentary set me straight on was who came up with Brat Pack and what he meant when he did. He was not talking about John Hughes movies, or Molly Ringwald, or any female at all...he meant a new crop of young male leads and specifically Emilio Estevez and his pals. Timothy Hutton is in this Brats doc, but honestly, I never associated him with the Brat Pack back then. I will admit, I thought Brat Pack movies were lightweight films comically angst-ridden teens or 20 somethings and their floundering in life. I did think of it as movies about young people laughing or crying about their issues, like prom, who they wanted to date, having a good time, being a nerd or a jock or a popular or unpopular person.

I did think of Ferris Bueller's Day Off as a Brat Pack film, I guess mainly because it was Hughes and high school kids.

Brats basically showed me my idea of the "Brat Pack" was all wrong and really it had nothing to do with the guy that I most associated with it, Hughes, and had nothing to do with the kind of films I thought were the Brat Pack films.

Really it showed me too that Andrew McCarthy was probably not even in the Brat Pack but he was a Brat Packer the longest and made the two films that probably put an end to some people's idea of the Brat Pack. So, McCarthy may have had the most to do with killing the Brat Pack but had little to do with creating it, but now he is the one most trying to keep an idea of it alive.
 

Winston T. Boogie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Messages
12,011
Location
Agua Verde
Real Name
Pike Bishop
That was The Breakfast Club for me.

I enjoyed this Brats movie.
Back then after the phrase was coined we didn’t really think much of it.
Sounds like they thought more about it then anyone else.

When I thought of The Brat pack it was more of an homage to The Rat Pack so it seemed like a compliment to be considered the New Rat pack and get their own name for it too.

They thought about it more, absolutely. I didn't think about the Brat Pack back then but I do remember the girls I knew at the time talking about and asking the guys to go see "Brat Pack" films with them.

I did get the joke, Rat Pack-Brat Pack but because I had not read the article about Estevez, I did not understand the guy was literally comparing the two groups as a bunch of good time drinkers. That never dawned on me back then.

Emilio I knew from the movie Repo Man, not sure you can call an Alex Cox film a "Brat Pack movie" but he was known to my group of high school friends because of this film. 1984 was also pre-Brat Pack because the name was not invented until 1985.
 

Winston T. Boogie

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 31, 2004
Messages
12,011
Location
Agua Verde
Real Name
Pike Bishop
Doing sort of an overview of the period, I think the Brat Pack essentially lasted from 1985 to 1986. I believe two films killed the Brat Pack thing and those were Less than Zero, a drugged-out Brat Pack affair, and Fresh Horses, a real car crash of a picture that featured McCarthy and Ringwald. That was it, end of the Brat Pack, pretty much no matter what your definition of it was.
 

JoeStemme

Screenwriter
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
1,058
Real Name
Joseph
going back to that original source article, it shows that it wasn't the magazine story so much as the Media Hype that surrounded it that created the phenomenon. All those talk show interviews, tabloid news clippings, and yes, the Hollywood promotional power machine all combined together to create this illusion of a bunch of young actors 'taking the town by storm'.
The original Rat Pack were a bunch of older gentlemen, who, really formed a clique. Some of them knew each other not just for a year or two - but, decades.
 
Last edited:

AlohaTiger

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 15, 2024
Messages
67
Real Name
Frankie
Doing sort of an overview of the period, I think the Brat Pack essentially lasted from 1985 to 1986. I believe two films killed the Brat Pack thing and those were Less than Zero, a drugged-out Brat Pack affair, and Fresh Horses, a real car crash of a picture that featured McCarthy and Ringwald. That was it, end of the Brat Pack, pretty much no matter what your definition of it was.

I think you nailed it with Less Than Zero, never saw or even knew of Fresh Horses at the time. I had the poster on my wall growing up along with the Cure & Arny in Kindergarten Cop


IMG_5277.jpeg IMG_5279.jpeg IMG_5282.jpeg
 
Last edited:

JoeStemme

Screenwriter
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
1,058
Real Name
Joseph
Andrew McCarthy's doc is half-nostalgia, half-therapy session. McCarthy has never gotten over being tagged as a member of the Brat Pack, and blames that label as the primary reason his career stalled. McCarthy sets out to interview the other acknowledged Pack members and see how they have been doing the past three and a half decades and if they similarly feel stung by the moniker (he notes that he hasn't been in contact with many of them over those many years).
It's a strange, not to mention, awkward, set-up, but it has interest for anybody interested in 80s mainstream cinema. One of the issues that McCarthy has to address is exactly who qualifies as a full Brat Pack member? The original magazine article by David Blum is focused really on only three: Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe and Judd Nelson (the full article is here: https://nymag.com/movies/features/49902/). Ironically, McCarthy himself is only mentioned once. Assumed Brat Packers Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald aren't mentioned at all, and Demi Moore is simply cited as a girlfriend. McCarthy stretches the circle and interviews Jon Cryer, Timothy Hutton and Lea Thompson. Two members of the Pack don't give on camera interviews although McCarthy acknowledges that they at least called him back. What becomes clear is that the term never really had any meaning save for an easy catch-all for the media and the Hollywood publicity machine to exploit.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the interviews aren't too challenging and the other actors seem to have put it all behind them more than McCarthy himself. Usually, Much more so. Sheedy and Moore are the warmest to his plight and he's visibly moved by their words. Other interviewees include Producer Lauren Shuler Donner, Agent Loree Rodin and Director Howard Deutch who give first person accounts of how they handled the hoopla and the actors themselves. Some of the best footage come from Authors Brett Easton Ellis and Malcolm Gladwell who put the era in context.
The grand finale as where McCarthy confronts head to head the movie's boogeyman - Blum. To his credit, the author doesn't back down from his word; instead, he tries to put it all in context, including the fact that he was only a few years older than his subjects at the time - he wasn't some middle-aged fuddy-duddy wagging his finger at youths.


BRATS isn't a full success. It does go on a bit, and some of McCarthy's directing touches are more distracting than interesting. While it's only 92 minutes in length, one does feel that it devolves into self-pity more than once (McCarthy has also written a book on the subject - I guess that didn't sufficiently get it out of his system). Those who grew up watching John Hughes' films (BREAKFAST CLUB in particular), ST. ELMO'S FIRE etc. will likely be interested in wading through the run-time.

brats1.jpg
 
Movie information in first post provided by The Movie Database

Users who are viewing this thread

Sign up for our newsletter

and receive essential news, curated deals, and much more







You will only receive emails from us. We will never sell or distribute your email address to third party companies at any time.

Similar Threads

Latest Articles

Forum statistics

Threads
357,866
Messages
5,144,850
Members
144,502
Latest member
masterbuildinginspectorsa
Recent bookmarks
0
Top