Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day: Film Review
Cast: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Ed Oxenbould
Director: Miguel Arteta
Disney fires off a pre-Christmas cannon shot in the form of Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, a safe, relatively inoffensive piece of family fare.
Predicated on the idea that Alexander (a lispy Aussie Oxenbould) is always having bad days, while his family's life is going to perfection.
His mom (an uptight And underused Jennifer Garner) is on the verge of scoring a VP role with a book launch, his stay-at-home dad is about to score a much-needed job interview, his brother Anthony (an Alan Ruckish Dylan Minnette) is about to take his driving test and take his girl to the prom and his sister is about to storm the stage as the star of Peter Pan.
Whereas the Aussie-obsessed Alexander is feeling neglected since a baby was born into the brood, rejected as his birthday party is happening at the same time as a popular kid and is struggling to vocalise his feelings to his school crush.
On his 12th birthday, he makes a wish they'd all have a bad day like him...
Which, of course, this being a Disney comedy about family and values, they subsequently do.
Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day does exactly what it sets out to do and makes the journey along the way a relatively pleasant one to endure.
With some silly laughs for the kids and a couple of adult-only zingers, as well as Dick van Dyke making a cameo, it's all fairly safe family fare that never deviates into dangerous territory or is in danger of having parents dive for to cover their children's ears.
Carell provides the laughs in his usual deadpan and nonsensical way and while the kids aren't overly cute moppets with perfection in range, they are perfectly relatable and watchable in this relatively toothless family comedy which doesn't outstay its welcome with a zippy run time.
Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day won't be the biggest Christmas hit here from the studio (that accolade's likely to go to the animated Big Hero 6) but it is a timely reminder as we head into the holidays of the power of family pulling together and the fact that no good, very bad, horrible days sometimes pan out quite well if you stay positive.