Film Review: Bigger Not Better ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’

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Average: 3 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – This is what happens when a beloved book gets sucked into the big Hollywood studio machine and gets all the endearing qualities – plus its heart and soul – sucked right out of it. “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad movie. It goes from Alexander getting gum stuck in his hair and his mom buying him the wrong kind of sneakers to Steve Carell doing sake bombs in a Japanese steak house on a job interview and catching a pirate shirt he’s wearing on fire.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 1.5/5.0
Rating: 1.5/5.0

How did we get here?  Screenwriter Rob Lieber seems to think bigger is automatically better. And this produces a movie that’s so broad it misses the specificity of the original and also seems stretched to its breaking point even at a relatively brief 81 minutes.

The original children’s book may not have been the best place to start anyway, since it doesn’t immediately lend itself to the kind of story that would support a full length film. The objectives and annoyances in it are distinctly small potatoes, but it captures the spirit of a child stuck in a funk. The first third of the film tries to stick to the source material, but from the very first moment when Alexander unconvincingly slips on a skateboard getting out of bed, “Alexander…” the movie proves unable to capture that same childish spirit on film.

From there the film ties to the original book grow even more tenuous. After his very bad day, Alexander (Australian actor Ed Oxenbould) makes a birthday wish for everyone else to share the misery. This unleashes a series of tired slapstick mishaps for each member of the Alexander’s family. These mostly involve vomit, property damage, and a CGI kangaroo.

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” opens everywhere on October 10th. Featturing Steve Carrell, Jennifer Garner, Ed Oxenbould, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey, Megan Mullally, Donald Glover and Dick Van Dyke. Screenplay Adapted by Rob Lieber, based on a book by Judith Viorst. Directed by Miguel Arteta. Rated “PG

StarContinue reading for Spike Walters’ full review of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”

Alexander
Cast of ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’
Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures

StarContinue reading for Spike Walters’ full review of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”

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