Release Date: August 3rd, 2007 by Lionsgate.
The Cast: Nathalia Ramos, Janel Parrish, Logan Browning, Skyler Shaye, Chelsea Staub, Anneliese van der Pol, Malese Jow, Stephen Lunsford, Lainie Kazan, Ian Nelson, Jon Voight.
Directed by Sean McNamara.
BASIC PREMISE: One they enter the 9th grade, best friends Yasmin (Ramos), Jade (Parrish), Sasha (Browning) and Chloe (Shaye) must deal with a mean classmate, Meredith (Staub), who tries to break their clique up.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Bratz seems like a mildly engaging cross between Mean Girls, Clueless and even Legally Blonde with a juvenile plot and somewhat irritating characters. Yasmin, Jade, Sasha and Chloe (a.k.a. the Bratz) are BFFs (Best Friends Forever) and plan to live up that name, so they’re not too happy when Meredith tries to change that in any way possible. Meredith happens to be the daughter of the high school’s president, played by Jon Voight, who’s difficult to recognize here, perhaps to save himself from embarrassment. Lainie Kazan briefly shows up as Yasmin’s mother, who dances with her on the bed while singing “La Cucaracha”. At one point during the second act, the plot turns into a musical when the Bratz and others sing and dance in a night school talent show. Even though the plot and characters are quite silly and juvenile, screenwriter Susan Estelle Jansen does a decent job of exaggerating these bratz with stylized “bratty” colloquial dialogue and includes at least a morsel of comic relief, such as a cute dog , much like Elle Wood’s dog in Legally Blonde , that gets overly pampered with a perm and manicure. Director Sean McNamara wisely maintains a fast pace and gives the film a hip, fresh look with its lively fashion and lots bright colors. However, the running time of 110 minutes feels a bit too long and makes these bratz overstay their welcome.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you check your brain at the door.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 4
IN A NUTSHELL: Mildly engaging, lively and hip, but somewhat irritating, silly and juvenile.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: DVD
The "B" Menu