Back in the early 2000s you were either a Bratz girl or a Barbie girl, I was a Bratz girl. I had all the Bratz DVDs, the Bratz Rock Angelz Ps2 video game, about ten different Sasha dolls and a Dylan doll (so I could make them have sex). I even had one of those massive Bratz heads that you could put makeup on and cut their hair.
Everything about the world of Bratz was immaculate… that is until the live action Bratz movie came out in 2007.
I think I had mentally blocked out that movie until a couple days ago when I decided to rewatch it on Netflix. And oh boy, that was equally the best and worst decision of my life.
It’s like a car crash that you can’t look away from. The cringe is so bad that it’s somehow good. It’s The Room for basic girls. I could go to an independent cinema and watch this with my friends. I’m quite frankly, obsessed.
Don’t get me wrong, Bratz the Movie is objectively terrible. Yet, I could rewatch it over and over just like all the other great films of our time… Shrek 1, 2 and 4.
But before I get into why Bratz the Movie is fairly ranked at 10% on Rotten Tomatoes (that’s really bad by the way), I’ll give a brief run down about what the film is about.
Four tween best friends: Cloe, Jade, Yasmin and Sasha embark on their first year of high school together. However, they quickly learn that the high school is run on a hierarchy of cliques and at the top of the pyramid is daddy’s girl Meredith and her band of idiots. So the girls can either choose to be outcasts or join the cliques intended for them: soccer jock, science geek, journalism nerd and cheerleader mean girl.
Two years later the girls come together unexpectedly after a food fight (????) and decide to be friends again, despite what Meredith the dictator might think. As you can imagine it doesn’t all go to plan, and there are sweet 16th birthdays, dressing up as clowns, a talent show and a secret USB with everyone’s secrets on it.
Now, let’s get into why the film falls flatter than a doll’s pubic mound.
Disney acting, but on steroids
If you’ve seen a Disney show, you’ll know how much those kids over act. To be fair, it’s probably because producers are holding a gun to their heads off screen — telling them if they don’t smile more they’ll beat the shit out of Mickey Mouse.
Think of the worst Disney child acting you’ve ever seen and then times it by ten. That’s what we’re dealing with here.
The overall acting is so bad that somehow a young Chet Hanks seems worthy of an Oscar nomination for his performance in it. “Don’t you mean Colin or Tom Hanks?” No, I mean fucking Chet Hanks. Yes, Chet Hanks who wrote a song called White Boy Summer and thinks doing a Patois accent on a red carpet is a good idea.
The man is no actor, and yet his five minutes of screen time is easily the best acting in that movie.
Cultural stereotypes that would make a conservative cream their pants
Two minutes into the movie and the cultural stereotypes are already rife. Yasmin is a Hispanic character who lives in a stereotypically large household, with three of her family members being in a Mariachi band (?).
Not only that, but later on in the film Yasmin is publicly humiliated by the showing of a video where she sings La Cucaracha while forming a conga line with her mum (???). For christ sake, which white executive’s idea was it to use pretty much every Hispanic stereotype they could think of on one character? I don’t think the film even explicitly states what her country of origin is.
Then there’s Jade, who has mixed Asian and white heritage. Of course, her mum is intent on her daughter being good at science, math and violin, as well as dressing extremely modestly. Again, we don’t know what country her mum is actually from — all we know is that Jade exudes every Asian stereotype you can think so.
Some of the worst lines I’ve seen, and I’ve snorted coke off a Revs toilet
Yes, I’ve seen better lines on a Revolver Upstairs (a famous Melb nightclub) toilet and that’s saying something. I’m just going to leave you with my favourite line sequence from Bratz the Movie, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
“Why don’t you watch where you’re going, are you blind?”
“No, but I’m deaf,” says guy that clearly isn’t deaf in real life.
“You don’t sound deaf.”
“Well, you don’t look ignorant. But guess you can’t judge a book, right.”
HAHAHAHAHAHAH WHAT THE FUCK.
The lipsyncing was on par with *that* viral Raise Your Voice scene
Remember when Hilary Duff does a solo in Raise Your Voice and it’s so clearly dubbed that it’s hysterical? Well, Bratz the Movie is on par with that.
If you don’t want to watch the entire film, please I’m begging you just skip to the end credits of Bratz and listen to their heinously dubbed singing. I was cry laughing.
You know something’s wrong when a 16 year old girl sounds about 47 when she starts singing.
Remember in Raise Your Voice when they dubbed 3 different voices in this one vocal riff? pic.twitter.com/GZZGWDVikx
— Max Grossman (@GrossmanMax) January 14, 2019
The extras were the best part of the movie
The Bratz movie might be the only movie in history where the extras actually stole the show from the actors. Throughout the entire movie, I couldn’t keep my eyes off their chaotic facial expressions and weird fake laughing.
Bratz the Movie feels like if you gave a bunch of year 7s a one million dollar budget to turn their shitty drama play into a full blown Hollywood film. Despite being poorly written and acted, they managed to include not one, but three dance numbers, an elephant, a food fight and two music videos to play during the end credits. It’s like having a designer handbag with no cash in it.
Stunning. Brave. Incredible.
Now, if you need me I’ll be watching Bratz for the third time today.