REVIEW: ‘Spoiled Brats’ Is Surprisingly Heartfelt

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Spoiled Brats - But Why Tho

Spoiled Brats (Pourris Gâtés) is a French-language Netflix Original comedy directed and adapted by Nicolas Cuche with writing by Gary Alazraki, Patricio Saiz, and Cuche. When family patriarch Francis Bartek (Gérard Jugnot) needs to teach his spoiled adult children a lesson in humility, he concocts a plan to pretend they’ve lost their massive wealth and have to hide away in the country, get jobs, and fix up his father’s old home.

You wouldn’t expect to find the cast of a film called Spoiled Brats filled to the brim with endearing characters, but that’s exactly what this movie is. The plot isn’t particularly special, and there are some issues, but everyone in this movie is really, really lovable. Obviously, this isn’t immediate. The movie begins with Stella (Camille Lou), perhaps the most spoiled of all the kids who is marrying a terrible person who only wants her money, Alexandre (Louka Meliava) is a serial philanderer with no real aspirations, and Phillipe (Artus) is aloof and full of terrible business ideas. Francis, too, comes off as a bit of a jerk at the beginning, as does his best friend and business partner, Ferrucio (François Morel). But once the farce begins, everyone’s rough edges melt away.

Firstly, I want to praise the relationship between Francis and Ferrucio. There’s a level of friendship and emotional openness between them that feels rare and special, especially as two older men with wealth and power. You’d expect them to be competitive or standoffish, but in fact, they’re thick as thieves, and it’s beautiful. Francis’s soft side becomes apparent quickly and continues over time as his background, intentions, and personality unfold. As for the kids, they shed their rough outer shells throughout Spoiled Brats as well. In their own ways, each of them turns out to be really lovely people with big hearts and lots to love about them.

Do I want to be empathizing so hard with billionaires? Not particularly, which leads to a bit of cognitive dissonance watching the movie. But by the end, I absolutely couldn’t help it. The story hits just the right cheesy notes to get you feeling wistful. It’s formulaic, sure, but it’s formulaic in a comforting way, not overplayed. The film does have two issues, though: one not so serious and one pretty egregious.

The less serious umbrage I take is with Juan Carlos (Tom Leeb). He’s not only annoying but just an out-of-place caricature. He is a cartoonish villain with no redeeming qualities, and as everyone in the movie becomes so endearing, he swoops back in towards the end to suddenly ruin the heartwarming story with his annoying B-plot antics. It’s not horrible, but I wish he were at least a love-to-hate type rather than a completely unlikable oaf.

What was really not okay, though, was the late-film scene involving a deaf character. I don’t know for certain whether what he was signing was even real or not, but the way his scenes were designed specifically to play for laughs at his expense just felt gross. There was no good reason to insert this trait if only to spend every moment he was on screen implying that the audience should be laughing at him. It would have been swell if he was just deaf, and that was that, but alas, he was made the butt of not remotely funny joking.

Don’t watch Spoiled Brats expecting a great movie, but certainly, its character growth and nice relationships are worth an evening’s watch. The negatives break some of the illusions, but they don’t break the film as a whole. Its endearing characters carry it through.

Spoiled Brats is streaming now on Netflix.


Spoiled Brats
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

Don’t watch Spoiled Brats expecting a great movie, but certainly, its character growth and nice relationships are worth an evening’s watch. The negatives break some of the illusions, but they don’t break the film as a whole. Its endearing characters carry it through.