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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day turns into a movie

You read the book when you were little.  Now you're reading it to your kids.  How do you think the movie compares?  Check out my newest movie review blog post:




PG
80 minutes

Grade:  B

In a Nutshell: 

Based on Judith Viorst’s beloved 1972 child’s book, this slapstick and warmhearted family film is a simple illustration of how messy all of our lives often are.  It’s somewhat cathartic to see that you’re not the only one in the world who struggles with endless diapers or beat-up cars or busy days run amuck.

It’s not the greatest movie you’ve ever seen, but it’s also not terrible, horrible, no good, or bad.  The movie is harmless and clean fun for all ages.  

Uplifting theme: 
  • Alexander wraps it all up in the end with this wise advice: “You gotta have the bad days so you can love the good days even more.”
  • There is no such thing as the perfect day or the perfect family for that matter. What’s truly most important is our family and enjoying this journey we call life.

Things I liked:
  • Steve Carell charms with his wit and comedic talent.  Jennifer Garner is believable as a loving, hard-working mother.  Ed Oxenbould does a good job as Alexander.
  • Baby Trevor is adorable.  I hated seeing him cry.  Did they poke him or something?  I mean, how do you get a baby to cry on cue? Trevor was played by twins Elise and Zoey Vargas.
  • The source material is only 32 pages long, so creating a movie around it could be a daunting task, but Rob Lieber’s script stays true to the zany feeling of the book.
  • I loved seeing Dick Van Dyke.  What an iconic, beloved actor.  He’s looking great still!  It's too bad that they have him reading a book that says "taking a dump" a bunch of times.  He's too classy for that.
  • Celia (played by Bella Thorne) is an egocentric, spoiled girlfriend who the audience I sat with loved to hate.

Things I didn’t like:
  • They invented the word “Fommy” to mean a stay-at-home father who cares for the children like a mommy.  Kinda dumb. 
  • There are a few scenes that fall flat, but the overall manic pacing of the film pulls you along for the ride.
  • I would love to have seen more of Megan Mullally.
  • Why is it everyone has to say the "P" word all the time now in movies and on TV shows?  (male anatomical body party)

Funny lines:
  • “Who’s this kid Parker?” – Ben Cooper (the dad)
“He’s this really cool kid with a hot tub and ADHD.”  - Alexander
  • “Another bad party can ruin your rep forever.” – Paul Dumphy
  • “Sorry we’re late.  We had a little diaper drama at Trader Joe’s.” – Ben
  • “I’m hashtag blessed, you know.”  - Anthony
  • “Don’t blow my dickereedoo!” – Alexander
“Then what’s it for?” - Anthony

Tips for parents:   
  • This is a feel-good movie that will make you want to pull together more as a family.  That’s what families are for, right?  There should be one place and one group of people in this world who can be a refuge from the storm in your life: your family. 
  • It’s not a bad idea to teach your kids how to get gum out of their hair…the correct way.
  • The sister does all kinds of fun tongue-twisters your family can tackle.
  • Young kids can learn all about Australia, Vegemite and kangaroos for their next school report.
  • There are some "Thunder from Down Under" male strippers at the end.  They don't actually strip, but they begin to before the parents realize what they're doing and then stop them.
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