★★, Reviews
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Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)

ALEXANDER

  • Directed by: Miguel Arteta
  • With: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Ed Oxenbould
  • 81 Minutes

How would you feel like if you were having the worst day of your life while the rest of your family was having tremendous luck? For Alexander, this was his daily routine and he didn’t care that much about it until the day before his anniversary when he decides to wish a really bad day for his family after going through a really crappy day at school… This is the premise presented by Disney in the up-coming movie Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day starring Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner.

“Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life-a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander tells his upbeat family about the misadventures of his disastrous day, he finds little sympathy and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him. He soon learns that he’s not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette) and sister (Kerris Dorsey) all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Anyone who says there is no such thing as a bad day just hasn’t had one.” ((c) Disney)

Perhaps I’m losing my sense of humor or perhaps I’m simply too grown up to enjoy children feel-good movies… I would go for the second one but then one thing hit me… If someone mixes great actors with a Disney Channel movie script they are clearly asking for something bad. Potentially funny from the looks of the trailer yes but unfortunately the predictableness and the “dumb” script ended up ruining what could be a funny ensemble with Steve Carell in the middle. For me this is the best way to describe Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day but since I want to leave you with a more complete analysis of the movie, keep reading this to find out what you might find.

Steve Carell is clearly out of the picture and it’s just there to make the whole thing a lot more tolerable. His performance is probably the best thing in the movie since his jokes and actions are what provide a more natural look to a movie filled with some of the most stereotyped characters I’ve seen… First there’s the girl who dreams about the prom since the day she was born and who still believes that it is going to be the best night of her life. Then, we have the jackass who wants to steal Alexander’s reputation by throwing a huge birthday party on the same day of his which would destroy his social life for good. We also have the theater addicted, the influenced friend, the baby who says the first the first word in the most adequate situation ever and at last but the least Alexander, the guy who passes through really crappy days while the rest of his family is having luck every time. When you gather the stories into one short movie like this one the result is the typical children movie with a clear attempt of teaching a lesson after a series of inexplicable events that turn out fine.

But while Carell’s performance added something to the movie, Jennifer Garner was simply there because they probably wanted a known mother for the story… It’s not easy to understand the good casting picks when the premise of the movie is basically a kid who wishes a very bad day to the rest of his family simply because he was jealous of their luck and because a stupid guy was throwing a bigger party that was about to ruin his “love” chances,,, Basically watching this movie is like watching college/high school dramas being discussed by 12 year old kids. Why am I not telling you what happened during that day? Because… Honestly, if I ruined that to you there was no good reason to watch the movie. The premise is dumb and the characters are too exaggerated but I ended up finding some events quite funny, even though they look a bit silly and stupid, because let’s face it, if you were having a series of really crappy days I bet you wouldn’t curse the rest of your family so that they could feel what it’s like to be you. That, in my opinion, is too insensitive and mean.

If you are looking for a good time with your kids, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day might be a good idea to make the entire family laugh a bit but if you intend to watch this without kids I should advise you that there isn’t much of substance in it. The movie like a crappy comedy without any nudity, swears and totally suitable for children. There’s a party with Magic Mike but no alcohol in the middle… There’s Stiffler’s mom without sex and there are teenagers behaving in a PG way. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day lacks emotion and realism and focuses more on showing funny things instead of making me care about the message in the finale. So, if you don’t care about all this bad things I mentioned and you wish to see this just for Steve Carell’s presence, I will “allow” you spending your money on this one but in a month filled with such pleasant and amazing movies this one should be left as a backup plan.

Although it features some really funny moments, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is nothing more than just another children movie and it was bit disappointing for not being the funny flick I thought it would be. There are funny performances but the story fails a bit for being too predictable and not natural at all. It was like watching a plot originally written for teenagers that was in the end changed by Disney to be suitable for all ages and therefore better to maximize profit. However, despite all these bad things, I can assure you that your kids are probably going to enjoy it. Quick, funny, far from being clever and with really cute animals that will make you say “Oh you’re so fluffy!”, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day could have been a lot better.

See it in: IMAX | Dolby ATMOS | 3D Theaters | 2D Theaters | Rental

★★

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2 Comments

    • I was really expecting something else… I admit that it had its funny moments and for its content it is a good pick as a family movie. Watching Steve Carell in a comedy is always nice but this time I felt something missing in the picture and since the distributors here in Portugal decided to release this movie alongside with “Pride” and “Interstellar” I must say that there are better picks for next week. Thanks for your comment man!

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