Film review: Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (3 out of 5)

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Half-term is upon us, so there’s no surprise we have a movie aimed at the younger audience.

And for a change there’s no animation involved and no cute animals (apart from a cameo role from a guinea pig).

Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

The movie is based on the 1972 book of the same name by Judith Viorst, although the plot sounds radically different to the film.

In the latest incarnation Alexander is having a bad time and not just for one day.

He is approaching 12 years of age and all his friends are going to someone else’s birthday party including a girl he is fond of.

What makes it worse is that his parents, brothers and sister are all having a great time with careers going fine and everything working out perfectly at college.

So the night before Alexander’s big day he wishes his family could have one bad day to understand what he’s going through.

The result is a series of mishaps and calamities with plenty of slapstick.

Steve Carell is Steve Cooper, the dad, with Jennifer Garner as Kelly, his wife.

Both provide some good comic moments as do Dylan Minnette (eldest son Anthony) and Kerris Dorsey (daughter Kelly).

We have car wrecks, burning pirate shirts and even legendary actor Dick Van Dyke reading a children’s book that has an unfortunate mistake in it.

I’m not sure why it has a PG rating as I’ve seen more violent adverts during children’s programmes.

My main criticism of the film, though, is that there could have been a lot more catastrophes and disasters and less ‘feel-good’ moments.

It ended up feeling like it was trying too hard to please.

However, I’m sure the youngsters will enjoy the chaos as it unfolds and Ed Oxenbould as Alexander is a likeable lad.

I was surprised, though, to see the excellent Burn Gorman (remember him from BBC’s Torchwood?) turn up in a bit part and Megan Mullally (Will & Grace) also have a cameo role. They both deserve good meaty roles.

Film details: Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (PG) 81mins

Director: Miguel Arteta

Starring: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Ed Oxenbould

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol