Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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It’s impossible to give a good review to this movie. A lot of critics are going to say it’s “good for the whole family.” It’s only good for one age range of the family: ages 5 to 12. Everyone else is too young or too old to be entertained by a movie that should’ve aired on Nickelodeon.

This is based on the popular kid’s book by Judith Viorst.

I enjoyed watching Ed Oxenbould playing the 12-year-old Alexander. He had a cuteness about him, and a slight lisp. He narrates and explains what constitutes a bad day. This, after we see a family returning home in a minivan that looks like the car at the end of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

His older sister (Kerris Dorsey) is in a costume and sneezing and sniffling. His older brother (Dylan Minnette) is in a blue tuxedo. The baby is smiling, although it looks like he got into something he shouldn’t have.

The parents are the members of the cast everyone will recognize – Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner.

This Disney picture as about a lazy movie as you could possibly make. They figured it could be rated G, which is fine…but did they also have to make it so bland?

We watch as Alexander tries flirting with a girl in his science class. Of course, that means he accidentally gets her notebook caught on fire.

He worries nobody will show up at his birthday party, since the more popular kid is having a party that same day. That kid has a trampoline, a live band, and a frozen yogurt machine. Well, Alexander makes a wish – he wants to be big. I kid, I kid. He wished that his family would understand his plight, and…the next morning everything goes wrong for everybody (not sure why he didn’t just wish the popular kid into the cornfield or something).

What goes wrong is Emily getting sick when she’s auditioning for the lead in Peter Pan. Anthony needing to pass his driver’s test so he can pick his date up for the prom. His mom Kelly has a big promotion at work, but she slept in and got herself into a jam.

I have to admit, I left half way through the 75 minute movie. There comes a point where, a few mild chuckles, and thinking a bit about Alexander’s obsession with Australia was cute – just isn’t enough to make me finish out the movie.

When Carell panics that the baby lost the bumble bee binky – the only one he likes – I thought about a much better picture. In Best in Show, a couple panics when they realize they forgot the dogs favorite bumble bee chew toy.

The screenplay was written by first-timer Rob Lieber. I can’t be sure if the fault lies with him for writing such a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad script – or if he was told to gear it for the kindergarten set.

If you have a young child – go. Everybody else – stay away.

It gets 1 star out of 5.

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