Several film genres have been so run into the ground by American films it’s only possible to enjoy overseas entries – yuppies-in-peril thrillers and domestic dramas being just two examples. I wouldn’t necessarily have lumped the Judd Apatow-style arrested man-child comedy in with these as it feels there is much English-speaking fun yet to be had in this world. But that doesn’t make this French treatment of some very Apatow-ian ideas any less welcome or enjoyable.
The Brats succeeds as a comedy in its own right, and is rendered all the more interesting for being a French take on some familiar notions. It starts out pleasantly enough, feeling like a nice contemporary rom-com, self-aware meet-cute and all, but really kicks into gear once co-writer/star Max Boublil’s Thomas starts hanging out with his restless prospective father-in-law (Alain Chabat).
I was all ready to ascribe the terrible treatment endured by the female characters in this film to some stereotypical French ideas, but then I realised it was no worse than what many female characters in American equivalents suffer. Keep this in mind, and you won’t get tripped up on some of the more questionable choices made by the male characters.
French films don’t get much more accessible than this – it’s a breezy watch with a higher laugh rate that most comedies released in the cinemas these days.
‘The Brats’ Movie Times