BUILDING ON NOVEL CONCEPT
Based on a 32-page children’s book first published in 1972, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day has liberally changed and elaborated upon the story but the result is excellent.
Beat the crowds of the Christmas movie onslaught and take the whole family to enjoy this bright, rapid Disney treat.
For 12-year-old Alexander Cooper (Australia’s own Ed Oxenbould) nothing goes right – he’s also clumsy beyond extremes as bad luck seems to lurk anywhere he goes.
During a magical moment on the eve of his birthday, Alexander makes the wish that each family member have an experience of equally bad luck for the day.
From sunrise to sunset the pratfalls of the Coopers takes hold with everything from Mum (Jennifer Garner) messing up an important work assignment with legendary Dick Van Dyke to Dad (Steve Carell) having to take their baby to a job interview.
In between the chaos, Alexander is having a carefree day with none of the usual mishaps that generally follow him.
Ed Oxenbould does an impressive job in the lead and although he plays an American kid here, Alexander has a love of Australia, part of an ongoing theme including having Vegemite for breakfast.
Bella Thorne looks to be a rising young star, playing Celia the snobbish, arrogant would-be prom queen to perfection, while Kerris Dorsey is likable as Emily Cooper – her Peter Pan moments are quite amusing.
Listen carefully when Mary Poppins legend Dick Van Dyke appears, his mix of words is another funny scene capitalising on embarrassing situations.
Like most family-friendly movies, it concludes with a feelgood finale that Disney has perfected over the years.
Ed Oxenbould with screen parents Jennifer Garner and Steve Carell.