How bad can Alexander’s day be?
Most parents have at some point probably read Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day to their children. This small children’s book is about how Alexander has a terrible day turning this into a film is not exactly easy.
In Alexander, we get to see a myriad of things that go wrong for Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as his day goes from bad to worse. Not only is his family full of good news they seem to completely ignore him. He has a unemployed dad who seems to be successfully managing the household and younger brother. Permanently optimistic Ben (Steve Carrell) somehow being laid off has not changed much of the family dynamic. Kelly (Jennifer Garner) is a successful children’s book publisher who will with the launch of her next book most likely get a VP slot. Older brother Anthony (Dylan Minnette) is popular, dating Celia (Bella Thorne) the prettiest girl in school good looking and about to take his drivers test. Older sister Emily (Kerris Dorsey) is the star of her schools Peter Pan production, well likely among the drama geeks and also popular. Little brother Trevor takes all of the families attention even when Alexander tries to get noticed. On the eve of his 12th birthday he makes a wish that his family would experience the types of days he seems to be having. Calamity ensues.
While this is a wonderfully short film the story is so thin that the terrible day the family experiences while they are supposed to make you laugh aren’t exactly that fun. The exchange between daughter and dad over cold meds was funnier then the resulting blow-back of her choices. Dad’s job interview was a series of insane issues but made for some of the best laughs.
In all its just too little going on to make it a good film. What’s there is fine but it’s got gaps and lacks story so much you still feel bad for Alexander since even when things go bad they still tend to forget he’s around. It’s his birthday! By the time the family comes to the acceptance that bad days make you appreciate the good days, thanks to invisible Alexander they start to appreciate him and make his birthday party about him. He’s party of this family. Finally.
Alexander doesn’t hit the right notes. What it needs is something everything could use more Jennifer Coolidge. Jennifer scene as a twisted driver’s ed instructor, just like Dick Van Dyke‘s as himself and Megan Mullally as Kelly’s boss Nina were just too short.
My Rating: Redbox
Director: Miguel Arteta
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: October 9, 2014
Run time: 81 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG