Hello again friends and readers! Thank you for joining me today to review “The Brady Girls Get Married”. The world first saw Marcia and Jan get married (not to each other) on February 6th, 1981. By this time, the original series had ended seven years before. The Variety Hour had brought the family back to TV in 1976, but was short lived. This TV movie was the first and last time the entire original cast reprized their roles at the same time. Future reunions had at least one character being portrayed by another actress. I’ve heard this “movie” was originally a few episodes of The Brady Brides series constructed into a TV movie or maybe it was the reverse. I am sure some dedicated fan out there can share the truth with us. I am sure by 1981, fans of the original show were happy to see the Brady family together again. I remember seeing this movie air on some now extinct cable channel in the late 80s or early 90s. This time around, I had to rely on Daily Motion to view the film. The video link is below. So dear readers, if this upload excluded some iconic or fabulous scene, forgive me for not knowing about it. Please share with us something the link below may have excluded. Let’s begin reviewing “The Brady Girls Get Married”!
The movie begins with some guy we have never seen before entering an apartment building. Can you imagine viewers chomping at the bit to see the Bradys again, only to see this stranger enter the scene? It turns out the fellow is Philip Convington, Jan’s boyfriend and soon to be fiance. The classic trope of a nervous husband to be fumbling about with the engagement ring as he pops the question is played out here. I will say the years continued to be very kind to Eve Plumb. She looks fantastic in this movie. Maureen McCormick certainly looked nice too, but there is something about Eve….
The engaged pair pay a visit to Mike and Carol. They are relaxing on the couch when Jan and Philip arrive. As they turn off the TV, we learn they were watching Gilligan’s Island. It was a fun nod to Sherwood Schwartz other iconic creation. Jan and Philip share their good news and Philip asks Mike for Jan’s hand in marriage. I thought this was supposed to be done before the groom pops the question, but will admit the practice now seems so outdated that my knowledge of it could be off. Mike and Carol give a lukewarm response to Jan and Philip’s news. The reason for this was quite absurd. They feel Marcia should be getting married before Jan. What? This was 1981! I assume Jan has her own career by now. She definitely has her own place and has been seeing Philip for a while. She is expected to put her own nuptials on hold until Marcia gets married? We soon learn that Marcia isn’t even seeing anyone! I’m surprised Jan was even allowed to move out of Mike and Carol’s home if such archaic mindsets are in place with Mike and Carol. The newly engaged pair leave disheartened at Mike and Carol’s response; and rightfully so!
Here is a nice shot of a 1980s Mike and Carol Brady. Carol fondly remembers her father catching her and Mike in the backseat of a car making out. Mike informs her that the memory is not about him. If Mike and Carol had dated as teenagers, this would have been funny. All regular viewers and fans know that Mike and Carol were grown adults with children while they dated. The gag just falls flat here.
The courtship of Marcia and Wally soon commences. A chance meeting at a cafeteria sows the seeds of love between the pair. Well, not at first. The man who has just met her can tell something is wrong and Marcia opens up about her not being hitched and Jan wanting to be and the problems it has caused. Wally must have a thing for troubled women so willing to share as he asks Marcia to get married after knowing her only a few minutes. He says he has been looking for her all of his life. Shivers! I suppose what passed for comedy in 1981 is considered creepy by today’s standards. Marcia arrives home that night to flowers on her doorstep from Wally. How did he know where to send them? He went to Marcia’s workplace where they gave him her address. Shivers again!
Maybe I can be a tad forgiving of Wally’s efforts. A man my mom dated for a while in the late 90s contacted her workplace in hopes of getting her phone number. Thankfully, the lady working the desk refused to give it to him, but did pass his number along to my mom. It turns out my mom was interested and they dated a long time. Wally’s creepiness and contacting Marcia’s workplace are excessive, but Marcia’s employer handing over her address is unacceptable in any day and age.
Wally crashes Marcia’s workplace under the guise of being a clothing inspector. He won’t leave until Marcia agrees to date him. If any man or woman seeking a date are reading this blog, DON’T DO WHAT WALLY DOES! What made for funny in 1981 could get you in a lot of trouble today. For whatever reason, Wally’s persistence has worn Marcia down and she hides a smirk at his actions. What follows is a montage of scenes showing the pair out on dates. At their conclusion we learn they have been dating for seven days. Based on the clothing changes, they have had a very active seven days. It reminds me of the montage of dating scenes in “The Naked Gun” that show Frank Drebin and Jane on all kinds of dates and concludes with Jane sharing they met only yesterday.
Soon we see Mike and Carol lamenting they have not heard from Jan in over a week. It seems Mike and Carol always encouraged their kids to do the right thing and apologize when they were wrong. Here, Mike and Carol have not reached out to Jan in a week? Just as they seek to amend the error of their ways, Jan arrives with apologies. Mike and Carol share their own. Seconds later, Marcia and Wally arrive to share the news they are getting married. However, they won’t do it without the consent of Mike and Carol. Mike and Carol ponder the matter for a few brief seconds and consent. This same couple that did not want Jan married until Marcia tied the knot give their marriage blessing to Marcia after a seven day courtship. Jan learns of this and the two eldest Brady sisters are elated at the idea of sharing a wedding day. This was a bit of a surprise for me. I could easily see Jan being dismayed at Marcia stealing her thunder by arranging a marriage of her own so soon after Jan had announced she was getting married. It seems most any bride would want her wedding day to be all her own. Jan, who always felt overshadowed by Marcia in the original series, has no problem sharing her big day with her older sister? Perhaps this was meant to show Jan was older and more mature now, but even a grown woman might be disappointed to learn she was sharing a wedding.
In the next scene, we finally get to see the rest of the Brady kids. Carol phones them all to share the news of Marcia and Jan getting married. Greg gets the call first. He is now a doctor! In seven years, he completed his undergraduate degree, medical school and is now practicing medicine. Based on the timeline, he should still be in medical school. Peter is serving in the Air Force. In one of those annoying, but necessary lines, Peter says to Carol “..I enlist in the Air Force a while so I can decide what to do with my life…”. Yes, the audience needed to know this, but I am certain Carol knew and did not need the reminder. During their conversation, Peter holds up a general trying to leave the flight line. It seems Peter would be controlling access to the flight line, not those exiting it. The phone call to Bobby and Cindy are both at college. Susan Olsen is looking great even with that 1980s hairstyle.
As wedding preparations begin, we finally see Alice. She and Sam have been married four years now. She is there to help with all things wedding. However, she can’t stop crying at the idea of Jan and Marcia getting married. She fondly remembers Marcia as a child writing in crayon on the family room walls. This is another head scratching line for devout fans. By the time Carol and her daughters moved into the house, even Cindy was well beyond the age where she would be writing on the walls.
The wedding preparations or lack thereof are made evident with Alice’s arrival. Marcia and Jan have completely different visions for their wedding. Jan wants a traditional event with formal wear, classical music and the like. Wally and Marcia are imagining a casual BYOB type event that the guests will find not much different than the regular boozy weekend parties. Oh, except there will be a live rock-n-roll band.
This of course causes conflict. The two couples’ clash continues into Mike and Carol’s living room where they all meet for the first time. The obvious solution here would be for each Brady girl to have her own celebration. Mikes does suggest this. Well, such a common sense resolution would not make for a good movie. No resolution is reached; Wally and Philip are now having second thoughts about getting married at all. I was not quite clear why they felt this way. Maybe neither guy wants the rest of his life dictated by Jan and Marcia not getting along?
The Brady girls getting married plot line had all ready moved on to a shaky track, but the next plot resolution sends it sailing off the track into the ravine. The dueling couples meet at a restaurant, down a bottle of wine and decide to course the wedding by spinning the empty bottle on the table. Yes, they are going to decide what kind of wedding they will have by spinning a wine bottle. The bottle lands between Marcia and Jan, leaving them to conclude the wedding should be half traditional and half modern. This is some classic Brady nonsense here. I could see this having been some kind of resolution on the original show when it came to some song Greg wrote, a play the kids were putting or maybe two girls sharing hostess honors due to the banquet guest of honor being an astronaut.
The wedding is planned in less than a week due to Peter’s Air Force service sending him off on an exercise. This comes at a great inconvenience to all the Brady kids, but they will be there. Somehow, all of the other guests coming could rearrange their plans. Maybe this abrupt change is why we don’t see Aunt Jenny as she was in Washington DC advising a newly elected Ronald Reagan on how to deal with the USSR.
The wedding begins with more lame jokes. Bobby arrives still wearing his cleats. How did he “accidentally” put cleats on after changing out of his uniform into a suit? Greg arrives wearing white doctor shoes and is laughed at as only the bride is supposed to wear white. I will give kudos to the production of this movie in that they at least make clear the wedding was taking place someplace besides the Brady house. However, the wedding is moved there as rain soon cancels the outdoor nuptials.
It seems to be such a TV sitcom mainstay that characters get married on the main set of the show. I remember an episode of Good Times where James’ father was getting married and the ceremony took place in the Evans’ apartment. When this was mentioned at the Sitcomsonline board for the show, somebody commented to the effect of, “If they would have had Thelma get married in that damned apartment…” and I still laugh thinking about that. For the Brady brides, at least we have rain to blame for them getting married in the Brady home’s living room.
The half and half ceremony plays out onscreen. Jan and Philip swap traditional vows while Marcia and Wally share some they penned on their own. Stewart Copeland jams alongside Carlos Santana while a violin players strolls about the event. The wacky wedding ends the same way Mike and Carol’s did. However, this time it is Wally who finds himself covered in wedding cake. It was a nice subtle nod to the original series.
I want to thank you all for reviewing “The Brady Girls Get Married” with me. Please do share your own thoughts! My own line of thinking here is that it was nice to see everyone again, but the level of enjoyment is nowhere near what I found with the original series. A sensible and responsible gal like Marcia agreeing to marry a man after a week’s time was a stretch. Maybe if it was Desi Arnaz Jr, I might understand, but not some guy who sat beside her at the Piccadilly. As mentioned before, the willingness to have a half and half wedding might have worked on the original series, but here just rings hokey to me. In the coming days, I will be seeking episodes of The Brady Brides out and another blog will post before too long with a review of those. Based on the TV movie, I can’t see reviewing each episode one by one. Again, I hope you will all share your own thoughts! See you again soon.