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BRATS (2024)

Director: Andrew McCarthy.

Runtime: 92 minutes.
Release Date: 06/13/24 [Hulu] 

[Seen for Tribeca 2024]

"Centers on 1980s films starring the 'Brat Pack' and their profound impact on the young stars' lives."


In this new documentary for Hulu, Pretty in Pink’s very own heartthrob Andrew McCarthy sets out to meet up with his old 80s co stars to evaluate what it meant for them to be considered part of the infamous “Brat Pack”. 


The “Brat Pack” label was coined by writer David Blum in June of 1985 as a play on the iconic ‘Rat Pack’ of the 1940s. The original article, meant to profile Emilio Estevez, turned into a piece spotlighting the teeny bopper film scene at large. The group of young actors it referred to didn’t take kindly to the title, nor the fact that Blum essentially called them snobby selfish kids who didn’t care about their jobs. 


When I was growing up watching John Hughes joints and everything in between, I always figured Brat Pack was a term of endearment. A clever nickname to commemorate the fact that this iconic group of actors often worked together on a run of films that resonated with teens for generations. It seemed like a no-brainer. I had no idea they were not fond of that name, but I had also never read the article until now. When you’re trying to be taken seriously in your field and you have some guy who writes for a magazine that executives use to keep their finger on the pulse of pop culture, you might not want a somewhat derogatory term to label you and your peers.


The whole documentary is basically a therapy tour for McCarthy. While speaking with some of his co-stars of St. Elmo’s Fire, McCarthy works hard to sell it to them as some sort of closure that they all need, when it very quickly becomes obvious this was closure he needs. The others seem at peace with the past, compared to where Andrew is, and they each offer a new bit of perspective that clearly resonates with him in real time.


For such a relatively innocuous term, and the fact that he’s only briefly mentioned, it’s interesting to see how much the article deeply affected McCarthy well into his adult life. You can see how it might upset a starving actor in their 20s when your career lives or dies based on what everyone thinks. However, it’s hard not to look at him and think “dude, you’re sixty.. get over it”. But this is his story, not mine. He’s been kind enough to bring us along on this vulnerable journey towards closure. If nothing else, it was enough to encourage me to reflect on the things that I’ve held onto that it might be time to let go of. I really liked this one and I look forward to screening this for my own brat pack. 

Jot your calendar. Set the alarms. Brats hits Hulu June 13th!

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