Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)
Directed by Miguel Arteta
Based on Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Elise & Zoey Vargas
Dick Van Dyke
Running time: 82 minutes
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Alexander’s day begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by more calamities. Though he finds little sympathy from his family and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him, his mom, dad, brother, and sister all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
Well, what can I say about this one? It’s a family movie aimed at kids. I thought it did a good job keeping various ages in mind (probably starting around age 7 or 8 & up) and I don’t think the parents who take their kids to this one will hate it or anything. I even think non-grumpy teens wouldn’t mind it as there’s a teenage brother (if there’s such a thing as a non-grumpy teen?). Sometimes the animated thing can be a little boring so you almost feel like you’re watching a “proper movie” at least when you start watching some live action stuff with your kid.
I enjoyed this one just fine as a wholesome “family” movie. I didn’t know the story at all so don’t know how closely it follows the book. What I liked is that you see a day in the life of each family member so you get each of their stories as they each have their own “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day”. Being the age of the parents I of course liked their stories, especially Jennifer Garner’s book publishing fiasco (with a visit from Dick Van Dyke. Chim Chim Cher-ee!). The title character, Alexander, is just turning 12 so you have the story of his birthday party drama as well as his teenage brother’s prom drama, his older sister’s school play drama, and both his parents and their separate work dramas.
It’s of course a little “silly” at times but not to the point that I found it at all irritating, which is more than I can say for a lot of kids’ films. The kids felt “real” as opposed to some perfect-looking actors and the family felt like a realistic, loving family plus they didn’t bicker in obnoxious ways (which is far too common in some family movies and always gets on my nerves). Jennifer Coolidge has a small role as the teenage brother’s driving instructor. She may be a “love her or hate her” but I love her – she always cracks me up! Steve Carell is also not to everyone’s taste but I don’t think anyone would mind him in this – he plays it straight. OH! And the baby “brother” is played by the same set of twin girls who played the baby girl in Bad Neighbours (aka Neighbors). Most adorable babies EVER.
This is a perfectly fine wholesome family film that’s actually pretty fun and has something for everyone as there are characters of varying ages with each of their own storylines. Even Jennifer Garner’s character using the word “penis” was still wholesome (and one of the funniest bits! but that may just be me showing my maturity level). I saw a few negative “critic” reviews but, seriously – lighten up grumpy butts! What do they expect – The Godfather for kids? Sometimes you wonder if certain adults were ever kids themselves. This movie is what it is and I consider it a perfectly acceptable form of simple family entertainment that isn’t too preachy or too stupid – it’s just meant to be fun.
My Rating: 6/10
Remember Blank Check? …I do. They don’t make movies like that anymore.
Lol! Yes, I do recall Blank Check, although I never saw it. Are you recommending it?? 😉 And it would be called “Blank Cheque” in the UK. Weird, huh? Btw – Hi! 🙂 I’m very behind on replying to comments…
Erm… nope. Sorry lady, I still don’t think I will be seeing this. I don’t like Garner, I really don’t like Carell, and the title sucks lol. It just doesn’t look like my cup of tea, but I am glad to see you didn’t totally hate it or feel like you had wasted time on it!
BUT I must say that I enjoy Jennifer Coolidge 🙂
Lol – Yeah, I don’t think you’d be too bothered about seeing this one. 🙂 I forget – did you see The Way Way Back? Carell was so good in that (so unlike his usual self). And hooray for MILF! Lol. She’s hilarious – love her. 🙂
Yeah, will be skipping. That was one of the only two roles that I liked him in! LOL she’s great!
Hmm. What was the other??
I also didn’t mind him in Crazy, Stupid, Love. Other than that, not a fan!
“I liked this movie, so I give it a 6/10, my worst score.”
No no no. I told you – movies for KIDS are rated on a different scale. So a 6/10 is like a 7/10 on a grown-up movie. Therefore, this was better than Interstellar. 😉
In that last picture of yours, did they open their front door to an entryway full of tarantulas? if so, they will be scarred for life, which is why I am afraid of spiders.
Of course not!!!! It was a crocodile. 😉
This is acceptable.
I hate this film. Its too ‘American’ and middle-class if you know what i mean. I’ve only seen the trailer and it just annoyed me
Lol! So you hate this movie you’ve never seen?? 😉 Yeah, I know what you mean by too American & middle-class. But that’s any live action Disney movie! Either way, it’s still better than Interstellar… 😉
I can’t see myself liking this anytime soon. Good write up!
Thank you! Lol – yeah… It’s not really for everyone. A definite kids movie but it’s not horrible. 🙂
Y’know, it’s kind of refreshing to see a live-action kids’ movie that seems like it doesn’t suck. You don’t see many of those anymore. Great review, lady! I doubt I’ll see this, but I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Thanks, Cara! I know what you mean. Most live-action kids movies are SO bad. They just make me cringe! They assume kids like things very simple & stupid. This wasn’t quite so bad. You know what I like? The Night at the Museum films! Those are great “for the whole family” movies. They really don’t make enough like that… We need things like Big to be made still!
Yeah the Night at the Museum ones are fun! Guess we’ll see how that new one does, huh?
Yep. 🙂 It’ll be sad seeing Robin Williams in it. 😦
Aww I didn’t even think about that…
I like the book. Maybe I’ll check this out for the kids when it hits DVD.
Yeah? I do wonder how similar it is to the book… I’m sure the kids will like it – it’s really not too bad. 🙂
I love the title and love Carell. I’m with Zoë on the Garner thing… not my favorite, to say the least. I mean, Why does she constantly look like she’s sucking something? I’ll skip this one, but great review as usual 🙂
Thanks! Lol. I don’t hate Garner but can certainly see why people would. This one was fine as far as family movies go if you’re forced to watch them with your kids. 🙂