Movie Reviews

'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day': It is really rather good

By Wang DexianMovies - 03 December 2014 11:29 AM | Updated 11:29 AM

'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day': It is really rather good

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

Our Rating

4/5 Stars

‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ sounds like words a child would blabber.

And it does revolve around a child named Alexander (Ed Oxenbould), who has really bad days quite often.

He is surrounded by his eternally optimistic father Ben (Steve Carell), driven career mum Kelly (Jennifer Garner), good-looking older brother Anthony (Dylan Minnette), and actress-wannabe sister Emily (Kerris Dorsey). 

Looming ahead for the various family members are a job interview, a potential promotion, a play, and a prom, and Alexander makes a wish at the stroke of midnight for them all to understand just what it means to go through a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day”.

To the boy’s surprise, the wish seems to work and the family’s big day is cursed.

The movie’s plot device clearly harks back to Jim Carrey’s ‘Liar Liar’ and that makes for a decent number of hilarious situations. 

At a rather brisk 82 minutes, the movie is packed from start to finish with a ridiculous number of hijinks.

The lurking feeling of something bad happening within just a split second keeps the movie moving at an extremely funny and fast pace. And the speed gives it a unique anarchic feel.

The humour is always family-friendly, even if it often ventures into slightly cheesy territory with a everything-will-turn-out-okay optimism.

Towards the final act, the speed comes down to the crawl like a slow-and-steady family wagon parking itself.

Carell embodies his role as that father who has been unemployed for seven months, but always trying to find the silver lining in all things.

Garner also anchors the movie with a slightly neurotic performance.

For film buffs, it may be surprising to see Miguel Arteta’s name credited as the director since ‘Alexander’ is a much more straightforward affair compared to the more grown-up comedies he has done, such as ‘Cedar Rapids’.

‘Alexander’ may not have the best writing, and it is predictable and somewhat forgettable, but it is hysterical while it happens.

It is free of clutter and a breeze of a movie to sit through with its age-appropriate humour and a warm, good-hearted message. 

‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ opens 4 December 2014

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

    (2014)
  • Rated
    PG /
    Genre
    Family
  • Language
    Eng
  • (1 Review)