Friday, October 10, 2014

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day Review

That's a really long name for a movie. It makes typing up a review mildly annoying, but oh well. I'll make it through (It's one of those times I'm grateful for the copy and paste technique). Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a movie that definitely caused me to raise an eyebrow when it was first announced. I of course was a 5-year-old at one point. I loved that little book. But did it really need to be made into a movie? I remained skeptic for a long while, but slowly the idea grew on me. Casting news and trailers helped ease my skepticism to the point where I actually thought that this could be a fun little family film. And turns out it is. No, it's nothing special. It's very cliche. Surprisingly boring at times with no twists, turns or surprises. Not that emotionally moving like it could've been. But it's not a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad movie. It's decently fun and, most importantly, the kids are going to love it.

I don't need to tell you what this movie is about. You've read the book. Alexander has a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. But then he realizes that it's not so bad. Boom. Movie done. But how does this make it as a full-length movie? Well, after Alexander has his bad day, he wishes his bad day on his family because they seemingly aren't paying him any attention. So in fact we have two days that are terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. And that actually is the movie. It's only 81 minutes long, so it flies by pretty fast and there comes point where you wonder if they could've made it a touch longer. But it works decently. As expected, it's pretty much 81 minutes of gags. Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things happening to this family on this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. And they are supposed to make you laugh through it all. The problem is I really wasn't laughing too hard through the whole movie. There's a few laugh out loud moments. But mostly just constant chuckles throughout. And the big reason for that is because it's one of those really annoying moments where the whole movie was in the trailer. I actually laughed at the trailer when I first saw it. It was great. But I wanted more and the movie didn't give me any more. Turns out that in order to make the trailer, they took all the funniest gags from the movie and threw them together in the trailer. And because I watch a lot of movies and thus see a lot of trailers multiple times, I felt like this was the 20th time I was watching this movie and thus it was actually kinda boring. It didn't help that I knew exactly what was going to happen.

But do you know what, as I was sitting watching the movie, I began to think about the target audience. This is not a movie that is made for adults. Sure, I think that adults can enjoy it, but this is a family-friendly movie that is made for kids. No, the story isn't amazing. But kids don't need an amazing story. Sure, the movie is very predictable. But kids don't need an unpredictable movie full of twists and turns. Yes, it's cliche. But cliche isn't so cliche when you're young. Yes, the whole movie was in the trailer. But how often does your 7-year-old sit down and watch trailers? Exactly. It's all going to be new for them. Sure, there's only going to be a few laugh-out-loud moments if you are an adult. But as long as it makes the kids laugh out loud, isn't that all that matters? And as it turns out, I ended up being one of those creepy old guys sitting there in a kids movie by himself with a theater full of kids. And I can tell you by first hand account that all the little kids in my theater were busting out laughing the whole entire time. "That was such a good movie!" said a little girl behind me as we walked out of the theater. I can't give this movie a harsh grade. It was made for the kids and the kids absolutely loved it, so it was successful in it's purpose.

In the end, did I enjoy Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Yes, I did. Was it cliche? Yes. Was it super predictable? Yes. Did they show the whole movie in the trailer? Yes. Did I laugh out loud for the entire movie? No. Was it as touching and movie as it could've been? No. Did we really need a movie adaptation of this book? No. But we got it. No changing that. And as it turns out, it's another Disney movie that the kids should fall in love with. So here's my recommendation. If you are an adult with no kids and this movie didn't look super interesting to you, then I wouldn't say you need to rush out and see it. There are a whole lot of movies coming out and this one could be looked over for now. But if you are a parent with kids who has been waiting for a really good movie that your kids will enjoy because the family audience has been neglected as of late, then I would say this movie is a must see. Disney knows how to make movies that kids enjoy. That was their purpose here and they succeeded. So I'm going to give Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day a 7/10.

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