I read the Alexander book, by Judith Viorst, back when I was a kid, so I was looking forward to seeing Alexander in the theater. Unfortunately, aside from a few funny lines here and there, it’s definitely geared more towards younger children, and I didn’t end up enjoying it very much.
Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) is having an awful day. Another boy scheduled his birthday party the same day as Alexander’s, so the girl he has a crush on isn’t going to his party anymore; he accidentally lights some things on fire in the science lab; and he gets gum stuck in his hair. His parents and older brother and sister never have such days. At midnight the next day, on his birthday, he wishes that they too would experience a day like he has all the time – and the next day, when he wakes up, chaos has arrived, and his wish actually came true.
Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner, both of whom I like, play Alexander’s parents in the film, and Megan Mullally plays Garner’s boss; even with all this star power, however, the movie can’t get past its script most of the time. The film ends up being more awkward and zany then actually funny, in my opinion, though it’s definitely interesting to watch the Cooper family trainwreck unfold on their “very bad day.” I used to love Jennifer Garner in the TV series Alias, and in other film roles, but in the past few years, with the exception of Men, Women, & Children (out next week), she seems to only be starring in childrens movies, most of which aren’t that good. Steve Carell manages to pull off a few laughs here, but like I stated previously, its the script that brings this movie down, not the actors in it.
No, don’t see this movie – the exception is if you have a child, as they might enjoy it. I will say that another blogger friend who attended with her child liked it, as did her daughter, so it’s possible that I’m just not the right demographic for this movie. However, I was looking forward to a funny kids movie, with some things for the adults thrown in (as Disney often does), but most of the time the film dumbed itself down, and wasn’t even that funny. One of my favorite lines from the movie is semi-inappropriate, so I won’t repeat it here, and there’s a bit where Carell has to wear a pirate blouse to a job interview, but other than those, I didn’t laugh that much throughout the film, and was glad that its runtime was so short.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is in theaters today, October 10th, and is rated PG with a runtime of 81 minutes. (A generous) 2.5 stars out of 5.
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