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Movie Review: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

| 2 December 2014 | Reply

Movie Review: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Directed by Miguel Arteta
Starring Steve Carrell, Jennifer Garner, Ed Oxenbould, Dylan Minette, Kerris Dorsey
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day poster

Ever had a REALLY bad day and felt like no-one cares?

Alexander Cooper has one on the eve of his twelfth birthday. He gets gum stuck in his hair, finds out a more popular kid is having a birthday party on the same day as his, so all his friends will be going there, almost burns down the Science lab – with his favourite young student’s notebook, no less – and his Dad forgets to pick him up from school. To add insult to injury every one of his seemingly perfect family are too involved with their own happenings to give him the time of day about his bad day.

It’s enough to make a kid, unable to sleep, prepare himself a birthday sundae and midnight and whimsically wish that they could understand how he felt.

Come the next morning, by magic or by coincidence (part of the charm of the movie is that it never leans on this flimsy premise), everything goes wrong for them all day long: Dad’s job interview is a series of comical misadventures, Mum’s literary agent book reading with Dick Van Dyke becomes a mess when the book has an adults-only misprint, big bro’s driving test and ball date go hilariously awry, and big sis’s starring role in the school play is over almost before it begins thanks to an overdose of cough syrup!

Through all this chaos there’s still Alexander’s birthday party to get through!

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day succeeds by playing it straight as a die, with hilarious results, and Steve Carrell shows he can play the straight man and the manic madcap clown in the same movie – sharing his scenes with his co-stars generously, then running with the craziness when given free rein to do so.

The kids in the audience, including our double seven-old-old contingent, loved the film, from the slapstick physical comedy to the schoolday dramas, whilst the adults in the audience had plenty on their level to enjoy as well, and the heartwarming conclusion never descends into syrupy tripe, instead remaining plausible and real fun for all. In short, this is a great family movie night film that most should enjoy.

Category: Movie & Theatre Reviews

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