Hulu’s Brats Documentary Was Not What I Thought It Would Be, And Other Fans Of '80s Movies Seem To Agree

 St. Elmo’s Fire cast.
Credit: Columbia Pictures

If you grew up in the 1980s, chances are you know who the “Brat Pack” is. The talented group of young actors helped shape a generation of young adults with the movies they appeared in. Now, nearly 40 years after the term was coined, the group is reflecting back on what it was like filming those movies and how it changed their lives. Or rather, that’s what I thought the Brats documentary, which can now be streamed with a Hulu subscription, was going to be about. Unfortunately, myself and other fans of the classic ‘80s movies that was not the case.

Directed by “Brat Pack” member Andrew McCarthy, the documentary focuses more on how the actors dealt with the article that created the now iconic term and less on what it was like to be a young actor in Hollywood during the rise of coming-of-age movies. Instead of taking a trip down memory lane, McCarthy and various members of the fictitious group reflect on how the groundbreaking article changed their lives.

While it was interesting getting to listen to McCarthy and other members of the group reflect on that period of time in their lives and how it affected their careers, I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed when it ended.

I Thought Brats Would Talk More About What It Was Like Filming The Iconic Movies

As a massive fan of The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire (two of the films used to determine which actors are in the “Brat Pack”) who wasn’t alive in the 1980s, I was excited for the documentary to shed some light on their lives during that time. I went into the documentary expecting to get fun behind-the-scenes stories about what it was like working on a set where everyone was around the same age, and maybe even some insight into how Hollywood treated young actors then that I could juxtapose with how they’re treated in today’s social media-obsessed world.

I expected the documentary to reunite the iconic “Brat Pack” and be an hour and thirty minutes of them laughing and cringing about the things they went through while catching each other up on what they're doing today. Instead, it felt like a therapy session specifically for McCarthy, who seemed to take the nickname the hardest. Though they all appeared to harbor some resentment for the term that many fans and modern journalists use a term of endearment to describe this era of Hollywood.

To some degree, I did get that since McCarthy sat down with several members of the group, but I would have liked to see everyone back together instead of a series of one-on-ones. The documentary was also severely lacking in nostalgia, focusing instead on this one article and less on the phenomenal films the actors helped create that continue to resonate with young adults, even if they haven’t all stood the test of time.

And Other Fans Seemed To Have Thought The Same Thing

For a while, I thought maybe I had just misinterpreted the Brats trailer and was expecting too much from the documentary. After a quick scroll on X (formerly known as Twitter), though, I learned that wasn’t the case at all. Many audiences felt disappointed and misled, just like I had about what Brats was actually going to be about.

X user @Gibsonoma summed it up best in his post, but that didn't stop several other fans from chiming in with their own takes. While most shared their disappointment with the "therapy-like" vibe around the documentary, others were disappointed that pivotal "Brat Pack" members, like Molly Ringwald and Judd Nelson (who has been vocal in the past about his hatred for the label), were not included. Here are just a few opinions that I can't help but agree with:

  • My take away from #brats so many missed opportunities. First it was Cameron Crowe that got that high school film angst going's Second I get why Molly said no. No Judd, C. Thomas Howell, Anthony Michael Hall, James Spider, Eric Shultz - @kathia_woods

  • Really thought #BRATS was going to be a different story. Hour plus movie harping on the name…like come on - @JSil88

  • The #Brats documentary was disappointing. Yes, some good Gen X / John Hughes / movies nostalgia but ... Andrew McCarthy. Oh my. The entire premise of the doc was his upset over the original "Brat Pack" article *30 years ago* and this weird oh-woe-is-me Eeyore vibe. He stumbled around the country complaining to the people who would talk to him about it. Sad. - @brianportnoy

  • I wished #Brats was more about the brat pack and less a therapy session for McCarthy. - @atxhobogrl

To be honest, the biggest takeaway I got from the documentary was that we could have gotten a lot more movies with the “Brat Pack” had the actors not taken such an aggressively negative stance on the nickname. Maybe now that they’ve had time to hash out their qualms and work through these issues, they’ll decide to give fans what they really want: a reunion of some sort.

Watch Brats on Hulu now. Don’t forget to also check out everything new coming to some of the best streaming services later this year, as well as the best Hulu movies currently available to stream.