Bratz: The Movie (2007) is the heartbreaking story of a brilliant girl with a beautiful dream, and the petty, ignorant ingrates who continually seek to crush her spirit. Or, at least, that’s how I read it…
‘Meredith Baxter Dimly’ is the head girl at Carry Nation High, and also (coincidentally) the headmaster’s eldest, favoured daughter. Super-cute, exceptionally talented, and chock-full of school spirit, Meredith has made it her mission to combat the loneliness and alienation that can often afflict so many teenagers, by selflessly spending her time helping them to find like-minded souls, within mutually supportive social groups (or “cliques”, if you will). She doesn’t disparage, or discriminate… she simply points new arrivals in the right direction, and then strictly enforces the established strata, so that her charges can finally find that sense of “belonging” they’ve been missing all their lives. This girl is a living saint, dammit! But all saints must be tested, I suppose… so into her perfectly ordered world stroll four trouble-making malcontents, who refuse to separate and settle into their assigned peer groups, preferring to congregate in an unauthorised and unruly cabal of their own, so they can squeal over shoes, gush about lip gloss, and conspire against their benevolent betters.
For some damnable reason, they also want to make-over young and old alike in their own image, forcing middle-aged teachers to change into inappropriately low-cut cocktail dresses in the middle of their classes, and painting tween girls up like miniature drag queens. As if that weren’t bad enough, they sabotage Meredith’s (second) Super Sweet Sixteen Party, and barge their way into her meticulously planned talent show, forcing the rightful winner to share her prize with them, simply to assuage their poisonous egos. Make no mistake about it, these “Bratz” are despicable dissidents, so consumed by their mindless “passion for fashion”, they will gladly trample over all that is good and true in their narcissistic rush to follow the latest vacuous trend! Boo! Boo to them!
Meredith is played by an actress named Chelsea Kane Staub, who recently chose to drop the “Staub”, and keep the “Kane”. She is, it has to be said, uber-adorable… and her two musical numbers are probably the highlight of the movie (I know that’s not really saying a lot, but still). She’s better known for her supporting role in a Disney show called Jonas L.A. (starring the eponymous band of brothers), and recently appeared on Dancing with the Stars… but, as far as I can tell, she’s yet to land a lead role of her own, which is a shame because she was a lot of fun to watch here. Meredith’s primary sidechick is played by Anneliese van der Pol, of That’s So Raven fame… and unfortunately she seems to have stuck with the broad and goofy (no pun intended) acting style displayed in a lot of Disney sitcoms… but at least she isn’t quite as shouty as some of their other starlets! Meanwhile, Meredith’s secondary sidechick (the one who gets lumbered with the thankless task of making admiring comments about the Bratz, just so she can be shot down with withering glares and snarky comments) is played by Malese Jow, of The Vampire Diaries fame. She was the main reason I picked this DVD up in the first place, but sadly the majority of her limited screen time is spent mutely agreeing with her friends, and wearing a rather drab “preppy” wardrobe.
Oh, one of the Bratz’s (?) mothers is played by Lainie Kazan of My Big Fat Greek Wedding fame. From the scenes set at her house, we learn that it’s perfectly normal and unremarkable for a Latino family to have random Mariachis chilling in their kitchen. Informative!