The Reel Review
The iconic 1970s TV sitcom The Brady Bunch gets the parody treatment when the painfully corny family must deal with a conman (Tim Matheson) who claims to be Carol’s long lost first husband, Roy, in order to get his hands on a horse statue he believes is worth millions. Shelley Long and Gary Cole star in this 1996 comedy sequel.
A Very Brady Sequel is a cinematic unicorn – the rare sequel that is way better than the original – in this case, the prior year’s The Brady Bunch Movie. The playfully silly comedy features Marcia’s now-famous catchphrase “Sure, Jan,” the recurring threat of stepsibling incest between Marcia and Greg, a psychedelic mushroom trip, a couple of cheesy impromptu dance numbers and a trip to Hawaii. A slew of cameos featuring RuPaul, Richard Belzer, David Spade, Barbara Eden, Rosie O’Donnell, and in their final film, John Hillerman (Magnum P.I.) and Zsa Zsa Gabor – keep the laughs coming.
Director Arlene Sanford does a great job maintaining high camp while being lovingly faithful to the cheery vibe of the series. Among the acting standouts – Christine Taylor and Jennifer Elise Cox as Marcia and Jan, Gary Cole, with an incredible deadpan delivery as family patriarch Mike, and Shelley Long (with that indestructible hairdo!) as matriarch Carol.
• Christine Taylor and Jennifer Elise Cox were both superfans of the original series and their characters’ particular quirks, which helped them land their roles as Marcia and Jan.
• In her four decade career, A Very Brady Sequel director Arlene Sanford is best known for directing episodes of Desperate Housewives, Ally McBeal and Malcolm in the Middle.
• When it was released, A Very Brady Sequel grossed $21.4 million at the box office, less than half of the $46 million the original film earned.