Hollywood has a lot of films about spoiled children, brats who grew up to become spoiled adults, or problem children in general. Perhaps this characterization is quite interesting for filmmakers because it brings about a lot of conflicts. And where there’s conflict, there could be drama gold, or even comedy gold.
This is true for the film called Wild Child. The 2008 movie stars Emma Roberts in the titular bratty role of the wild child. Growing up without a mother and having a very busy father, she acts out her frustrations in a bratty way. She gets sent to a boarding school where her bratty persona gets challenged. But the big question here is: will the brat change for the better?
Regardless if there’s a story of redemption or further condemnation for the brat, there are so many movies like Wild Child out there, carrying parallel templates. Go check them out!
How about having not one, but seven, unruly kids that need to be disciplined? That’s basically the story of Nanny McPhee.
The very Victorian and very English story of the 2005 film features a widower whose wife left him with seven children. Since this is the era where men weren’t really trained to develop child-rearing skills, he relies on nannies to take care of the children.
But seeing that these children are not easy to deal with, the household has nanny after nanny pass through there. However, things take a turn upon the arrival of the latest nanny, Nanny McPhee. Watch the film to see how the household gets influenced by this latest nanny!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
The beloved novel by Roald Dahl got turned into a beloved film by Tim Burton back in 2005. Johnny Depp essays the role of the quirky and colorful owner of a chocolate factory named Willie Wonka. Charlie is the impoverished child who luckily finds a golden ticket in a chocolate bar, earning him special access to a special limited tour of the closely-guarded factory.
While Willie and Charlie are all swell and sweet in their own way, it’s the other holders of the golden tickets that earned this movie a place in our list of movies like Wild Child. In particular, the bratty girl named Veruca Salt is memorable because of her manipulative bratty behavior. Augustus Gloop is the very greedy boy spoiled by his mum. And the gum-chewing Violet Beauregarde is the vain brat.
Watch this movie-musical to see how the characters interact with one another. See what the brats will receive as comeuppance!
What if the wild spoiled child is in her early twenties, but still lives off of her parents’ money in the process? And then the rug is pulled out from underneath her? Then you have this film called Uptown Girls.
The 2003 film stars Brittany Murphy as the lone child of a famous rock star. She’s kind of a trust fund kid here, who grew up with such a carefree lifestyle. But when her parents’ money got embezzled by their supposedly trusted accountant, things turn sour for the carefree gal.
What happens here is that she immediately grows up, tries to find a job, and tries to hold on to it as much as she could. Can anyone spell “adulting?” Yup, that’s her life! So go watch and see why this film earned its precious spot in our list of movies like Wild Child.
It’s quite obvious why the 1990 film Problem Child is here in our list of movies like Wild Child. Having a child at the center of a family’s life is one thing. But having that child act up a storm and leave a hurricane-like trail after him is another!
The comedy film stars John Ritter, a good-natured husband who has had no luck in having a child with his wife. So they decide to adopt a very young adolescent. However, when the kid starts being troublesome, then all hell starts to break loose!
See how the kind-natured couple try to tame this very bratty child! It’s a ton of laughs!
Within the magical stories of the Harry Potter stories, it’s no wonder that the Boy Who Lived would also encounter a few brats along his journey of growing up.
The successful film franchise also saw the growth of the problem children in Harry’s way. In particular, there’s the obnoxious and rich pureblood Draco Malfoy. His two other cohorts, Crabbe and Goyle, are also brats in their own sidekick rights. Is this the standard behavior in the Slytherin House?
Outside of the magical world, though, Harry had to deal with the brattiest of them all, in growing up. Dudley, his cousin, is such a pain in the neck for him that their relationship never really evolved as relatives. But of course, it’s a different story with Draco, especially towards the end.
In particular, you can see how the spoiled Draco transforms in the last film of the series, the 2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Go see for yourself how he has evolved.
Lord of the Flies
How about a group of military school boys, half of them bratty and bullies, getting trapped in an isolated island in the middle of nowhere? What kind of “society” ensues in their set-up? That’s the story that the film Lord of the Flies tackles.
The 1990 film is an adaptation of the popular young adult novel by William Golding. Balthazar Getty stars as the dominant but kind-natured Ralph. The bratty and bully Jack is his complete opposite. Soon, the little men’s egos clash and contrast, bringing tension and trouble to their groupings.
Want to see how a Survivor-like scenario with children – both bratty and kind – turn out? Then watch this very interesting film and see why it has a rightful place here in our list of movies like Wild Child. Yep, it gives a literal meaning to the term “wild child,” for the children are literally out there in the wild!
Less Than Zero
How about a group of college-age rich kids partying and overspending money on dangerous habits? That sounds like the film Less Than Zero.
While there are no super-evil brats in this film, it’s the character’s spoiled nature that leads them into having distorted lives. In particular, Robert Downey Jr.’s character here turns to “spoiling” himself with cocaine after his start-up business went belly up. His straitlaced friend, played by Andrew McCarthy, is the do-gooder who tries to rescue him.
This interesting film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel earns its spot in our list of movies like Wild Child, simply because it depicts the decadence and the excess that these older teens are capable of. Watch it to see what happens next.
The Good Son
How about having a kid that poses to be good, but turns out to be as evil as ever? Not to mention being threatened in a bad way when another boy comes along, ruining his status as a spoiled eldest kid? That’s the storyline of the 1993 thriller film called The Good Son.
This rather interesting take on a spoiled eldest kid stars Macaulay Culkin as that kid in question. His cousin is played by Elijah Wood, who arrives one day to spend the winter vacation with them. At first, the two get along for a while. But later on, something dark and sinister slowly surfaces from the seemingly good son.
And this is where the comparison starts, and why it’s here in our list of movies like Wild Child. Just how does the eldest “good son” interpret being wild here, while still being a child? Do murder and mayhem count? Watch to find out!
The Karate Kid
Our favorite underdog movie of all time has to have at least one spoiled child in its story. And for The Karate Kid, there’s always a gang there to supply this narrative need.
We’re talking about the original 1984 film here, starring Ralph Macchio as Daniel Larusso, the new kid on the block full of teenage bullies. What’s tougher here is that Daniel tried to learn formal karate lessons to have a fighting chance with the bullies. But what if the bullies are the top fighters of the only good karate school in town?
Then there lies the problem. And therein lies the reason why this film is in our list of movies like Wild Child. The wildness of the “child” in question here comes in the form of vicious and illegal fighting done by Daniel’s nemesis, fighter Johnny, played by William Zabka. Watch to see where the fighting leads them!
Another movie with a kid that has a bratty attitude is The Goonies. It’s about a group of friends with very different personalities. They all live in one neighborhood that’s being threatened for demolition. But things change when they accidentally discover an old map that may lead to some kind of treasure.
Such a mouthful, right? Well, it’s just appropriate, since the bratty kid in this flick is nicknamed Mouth! One good guess as to why he’s named as such? Of course, he has to be such a smart-mouth, and a smart aleck to boot. This is the main reason why the film belongs here in our list of movies like Wild Child.
Go check this 1985 film out! It’s worth the throwback, if only to see how Mouth tricks people!