Picture this, I’m at the movies alone, looking like a 6’2″ slightly overweight vagrant who hasn’t shaved in a week, in a theater full of children, and I have to try not to look like a total creeper as I’m lodged between two recliners of five year olds. That sums up my experience of seeing “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”. I could end my review here from my shame, but I won’t.

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is a sweet movie about family, and how to deal with bad days without giving up and losing hope. A nice message to children everywhere starting school who may come across a few bad days. In this film, Alexander, a chronic doofus, wishes a bad day on his seemingly perfect family, and everything goes wrong for his family, really fast. Disney adapted the timeless book into a movie with an all-star cast, and I was actually looking forward to it. I found myself laughing in this film a lot, but after a few hours of the film ending, I can’t seem to totally remember what I laughed at.

Steve Carell ends up playing Steve Carell, and while that sounds like a negative, why fix what isn’t broken? Carell was funny, charming and easily the showrunner of this piece as Alexander’s father. Jennifer Garner plays a sweet role as Alexander’s mother, a welcome addition to the cast, furthering why I think Jennifer Garner is one of the most underutilized actresses in Hollywood. Dylan Minnette and Kerris Doursey play Alexander’s gifted siblings that seem to overlook Alexander’s unfortunate existence, both very funny and charming, especially when things begin to go VERY wrong. We finally have Ed Oxenbould as the title character, and while I won’t bash on a child actor, I thought he was the weakest addition of the cast, simply because Alexander became a dull character once the unfortunate situations began to happen to other people.

The slapstick humor works in the film, mix it with the bright colors provided by director Miguel Arteta and your children will be enamored for 81 minutes, in fact, you might enjoy yourself as well if you get invested enough in it. There is a lot of comedy going on here, though not as much memorability. Nothing about this movie screams classic, though nothing about it technically should, it knows what it is and it stays where it should. It does play it safe, but rather it be safe than a complete mess.

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is a sweet family movie, nothing about the film is bad, but nothing about it is so good that I’ll find myself reminiscing on it remembering the gut busting laughs I experienced, it’s simply not that kind of movie. It’s one of the more affable films of 2014, and I say that wholeheartedly, it’s an easy film to smile at, and an easier one to laugh at. With it’s all-star cast and it’s sweet demeanor, there’s no reason that your kids won’t eat up “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”.


Photo courtesy of Disney
Photo courtesy of Disney

Directed by: Miguel Arteta
Starring: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Ed Oxenbould, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Doursey and Bella Thorne.
Runtime: 81 minutes
Rating: PG for rude humor including some reckless behavior, and language.

Disney presents, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”, a 21 Laps/Jim Henson Company production

Hunter is the current editor-in-chief for The Niner Times. He is a senior Communications major who wishes he were a dog and wants to pet your dog if you have one. Hunter has been a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA) since August 2015. Hunter has been the editor-in-chief since May 2016. Please do not hesitate to shoot him an e-mail at editor@ninertimes.com for any questions or concerns and he'll be sure to get back to you ASAP.