Tuesday, October 7, 2014

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

Releases October 10th, 2014
1 hr 21 mins
Rated PG


Director: Miguel Arteta


Steve Carell as Ben Cooper
Jennifer Garner as Kelly Cooper
Ed Oxenbould as Alexander Cooper
Dylan Minnette as Anthony Cooper
Kerris Dorsey as Emily Cooper
Sidney Fullmer as Becky Gibson
Bella Thorne as Celia
Megan Mullally as Nina
Toni Trucks as Steph
Donald Glover as Greg
Joel Johnstone as Logan
Jennifer Coolidge as Ms. Suggs
Samantha Logan as Heather
Dick Van Dyke as Himself

Review by Stephen M.

Based on a children's book of the same name from 1972, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is centered on Alexander whose luck seems to have ran out as a baby.  While the book focuses on his single bad day, the film focuses on his family's bad day of which Alexander believes he is responsible due to a birthday wish the night before.

Ed Oxenbould as Alexander Cooper is spot on for what you would imagine Alexander to be, physically and in his mannerism.  It has been awhile since I have seen Jennifer Garner in a good film, and does well as the matriarch Kelly.  Steve Carell plays dad Ben, who is between jobs, will have you laughing at what he does best and that is physical comedy. The remaining Cooper siblings Dylan Minnette as Anthony Cooper and Kerris Dorsey as Emily Cooper are adequate  but definitely not memorable performances.  Bella Thorne as Celia, Anthony's high maintenance girlfriend is the perfect role for her, but doesn't challenge her as much as she was in Blended.

If you have read the book, you would be as curious as I was to how they could make a full length featured film off of it.  The plot is quite interesting in handling this dilemma by not making it focus solely on Alexander though he does play a big role.  By exploring each of the family member's loves and fears, each in a comical way, the film is able to fill up the approximately hour and a half.  But it is also in this where the film suffers.  The film tries to appeal to a wide array of audiences but in doing so, stretches out the substance perhaps just a little too thin.

Overall, I would recommend this film to families though younger kids of which the book targeted may not enjoy or get some of the jokes in the movie.  Some of the humor is beyond ridiculous and not in a funny way.  Baby with the green face and the child drunk on cough syrup is funny to some extent.  Though if you think about it, how negligent Ben is to allow that to even happen.  If you want a laugh because Gone Girl and Annabelle has you down, catch Alexander.  Save yourself some disappointment though and watch it with low expectations and as a matinee and you will have a good time.


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