‘Spoiled Brats’ is a French comedy-drama film with an obvious plot and stereotypical characters. The film revolves around a father who is tired of the whims and fantasies of his children who are unable to take care of themselves. His three children, Stella, Alexandre, and Philippe, are problematic in their own way. While Stella is a shopaholic, Philippe comes up with bizarre business ideas considering them to be the best, and hoping to get support from his father and Alexandre, who considers himself a revolutionary but is mostly lazy. To teach his children the meaning of life, the father embarks on a journey creating false scenarios and forcing his sons and daughter to live a life of hardship.
The father, Francis, realized the need to teach his children a lesson when his daughter was adamant about marrying a con-man. At the same time, Philippe decided to fly to Ibiza instead of completing a task important for the family business, and Alexandre continued skipping classes and going to bed with the Professor’s wife and daughters. The ridiculous lifestyle of the children gave the father a heart attack. It is after the attack that the father decided to act as if the family had lost all its fortune owing to a betrayal from his partner. Shocked and devasted with their accounts frozen and mobiles thrown away, the father took the three children to a house where they could hide from the legal issues as well as the police.
The house was in complete shambles, with broken taps and absent doors. The father advised the children to search for jobs to provide food for the family. While Stella and Philippe looked for jobs and even found one for themselves after the initial hiccups, Alexandre chose to stay at home with the father and helped him repair the house. The life lessons that the father hoped for the children to learn were fulfilled. The children learned to be more responsible and also realized how privileged they were to live the lives they used to. Alexandre learned the importance of not romanticizing everything around him after deciding to eat only the fruits provided by nature, which left him sick. It is not just the children who learned lessons but also the father, whose absence deeply impacted the lives of his offspring. While everything was going according to the father’s plan, things started to turn bad when the con-man, Juan Carlos, started following Francis’s partner.
The father managed to share the truth and his intent behind it with the children, but it was not well accepted. Stella, Alexandre, and Philippe continued to live their lives in the old house, the house was repaired, and the three siblings were happy with the life they chose for themselves. Towards the end of the film, the siblings were joined by their father to celebrate the birthday of Stella. The father realized that he underestimated the capabilities of his children.
‘Spoiled Brats’ Review
The film starts with jump cuts and crash zooms along with a narrator guiding the visuals to quickly establish the place, Monaco, and immerse into the extravagant lives of Stella, Alexandre, and Philippe. The plot is obvious and a common one as well. The film might vaguely remind you of Schitt’s Creek minus the stellar performances and brilliant humor. It banks on the story of how the rich can learn important life lessons by working mediocre jobs and living a mundane life. These stories usually end with the rich becoming rich again but with a better perception of life and people.
Spoiled Brats might also remind you of ‘2 Broke Girls’, an American sitcom, that dealt with the journey of a rich girl who turned poor after her father lost all his wealth. Even though ‘Spoiled Brats’ works with a predictable storyline, the difference lies in how it is not the circumstance but the father who decides for his children to learn a lesson. The film also adds its own humor, especially when the characters are exposed to a different lifestyle.
Ge’rard Junot as the father makes a great fit, Camille Lou as Stella, Louka Meliava as Alexandre, and Victor Artus Solaro as Philippe are convincing. At times the humor is a bit insensitive, particularly when it tries to get a gag out of the Mayor’s disability and how the only black man in the film has the role of demonstrating Philippe’s business idea, which requires him to wear a pair of shoes up until the shoe bite phase after which the pair is returned to the shoe buyer to wear it comfortably.
Even though ‘Spoiled Brats,’ directed by Nicholas Cuche, is not a brilliant film, you can give this light-hearted no-brainer a weekend watch as it tries to do its best with a cliché storyline.
Spoiled Brats (Pourris gâtés in French) is a 2021 French Family Dramedy film directed by Nicolas Cuche. It is streaming on Netflix.