One boy against the whole wide world

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM REVIEWS - TARA BRADY

ALEXAN­DER AND THE TER­RI­BLE, HOR­RI­BLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY Di­rected by Miguel Arteta. Star­ring Steve Carell, Jen­nifer Gar­ner, Ed Ox­en­bould, Dy­lan Min­nette, Ker­ris Dorsey, Bella Thorne, Megan Mul­lally, Jen­nifer Coolidge, Dick Van Dyke PG cert, gen re­lease, 81 min It’s the day be­fore his 12th birth­day and ev­ery­thing that could go wrong for Alexan­der does go wrong. A popular kid has sent out in­vites for an awe­some ri­val party; pic­tures of Alexan­der’s head pho­to­shopped onto bur­lesque cu­ties ap­pear across all so­cial me­dia; he burns down the sci­ence class­room with a book be­long­ing to the stu­dious girl he likes.

Alexan­der slinks home to a ju­bi­lant fam­ily: rocket sci­en­tist turned stay-at-home dad (Steve Carell) fi­nally has an ex­cit­ing job in­ter­view; mom (Jen­nifer Gar­ner) has a big launch at her pub­lish­ing house, one that might ac­tu­ally cat­a­pult her into the VP po­si­tion; older brother An­thony (Dy­lan Minette) is look­ing for­ward to prom and his driv­ing test; big sis Emily (Ker­ris Dorsey) is re­hears­ing for the lead role in a mu­si­cal pro­duc­tion of Peter Pan.

If only there was some way for Alexan­der’s fam­ily to un­der­stand what it was like to have a re­ally crummy day. One mo­ment of schaden­freude and a birth­day wish later, and the en­tire crew are hexed. Even Dick Van Dyke is gun­ning for them: “Bert the chim­ney sweep hates me!” wails Gar­ner.

This lovely, goofy, old-fash­ioned fam­ily com­edy is adapted from Ju­dith Viorst’s 1972 kids book. For all its con­tem­po­rary gloss – photo-bombing, mommy yoga – it feels like a clas­sic bank-hol­i­day movie, some­thing that might slot neatly be­side Bed­knobs and Broom­sticks.

Chuck & Buck di­rec­tor Miguel Arteta keeps the laughs com­ing be­tween the hugs and lessons. A hip cast make lively shapes in the mar­gins. But it’s Ed Ox­en­bould’s tit­u­lar hero who steals the show.

Ig­nore the ter­ri­ble, hor­ri­ble, no good, very bad ti­tle.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.