Back left
Back right

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

Reviewed by on Oct 10, 2014
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld reviews the fun film based on the popular kids’ novel. If you think you have problems, check out Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!

By: Lynn Barker

Ever have one of those days where you think that nothing else can happen to top the awful thing that just happened…. but it does? You can totally get behind tween Alexander whose bad luck spreads to his entire family. Can things ever perk up in the Cooper household again?

What is that in our house?!What is that in our house?!Courtesy of Disney

The Beginning

About to be 12-year-old Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) wakes up with gum in his hair and slips on a skateboard. He learns that another, more popular kid is throwing a big birthday party the same day as his and it isn’t even really the guy’s birthday! Nobody will come to his party. Can things get worse? Oh yeah, for sure.  When Alex’s family members are too busy with their own lives to pay much attention to his trauma, he blows out an early birthday candle and wishes they could all have a bad day just like he does.

The family with their car door at their feetThe family with their car door at their feetCourtesy of Disney

The Disaster Spreads

Alex is crushin’ on Becky but, without a party, can he get to know her? His teen bro Anthony (Dylan Minnette) has a hot prom date with girlfriend Celia (Bella Thorne) but she wants a limo and he just hopes to get his driver’s license so the family won’t have to drive them!  Sister Emily (Kerris Dorsey) is playing Peter Pan in the school musical but feels a cold coming on, dad (Steve Carrell) has a job interview but has to take Alex’s baby brother along and a horrible misprint in a newly-published book at mom’s (Jennifer Garner) publishing house might make her lose her job!

Celia (Bella Thorne) talks with boyfriend AnthonyCelia (Bella Thorne) talks with boyfriend AnthonyCourtesy of Disney

Can It Get Worse?

Anthony royally flunks his driver’s test, almost totals the family car and has a giant forehead zit on prom day! Emily gets blasted on too much cold medicine and “flies” as Peter Pan into the set walls, Alex accidentally sets crush Becky’s lab notes on fire, Celia won’t speak to Anthony, dad’s job interview appears to go badly when the baby eats a green magic marker and mom lets famous Disney star Dick Van Dyke read the “bad” word in the misprinted book to a gathering of children before she can warn him. Can a heavy dose of family bonding and just plain love save the day….. or will things just get worse?

Anthony (Dylan Minnette) flunks his driver's testAnthony (Dylan Minnette) flunks his driver's testCourtesy of Disney

Wrapping Up

No matter what horrible experiences spread like wildfire through the Cooper clan, audience members will sense the strong love that binds this group of good-hearted misfits. Even when parents, well-played by Jennifer Garner and Steve Carrell, both parents in real life, seem to be too busy to notice that Alex is in agony, we see that they are really clued in and do their very best to turn things around for him despite their own wacky, impossible misfortunes. This makes for a feel good time at the cinema for tweens, teens, mom, dad and as many friends as you can stuff into the family mini-van!

Alexander sets Becky's notebook on fire!Alexander sets Becky's notebook on fire!Courtesy of Disney

There are plenty of laughs in “Alexander” both physical and verbal to please all and there is little doubt that you can identify with at least one if not more of the characters in the film. Even Bella Thorne’s snooty, demanding prom queen Celia just wants a romantic date she can remember forever. These people aren’t comedy caricatures but very real. They lose it a few times and start blaming each other for their individual disasters but snap back and, together, somehow make the day from Hades come out okay.

Mom (Jennifer Garner) tries to stop Dick Van DykeMom (Jennifer Garner) tries to stop Dick Van DykeCourtesy of Disney

There is a bit too much running around and screaming in the last third of the movie but the wild action does keep you interested. Whether you read the original kids’ book or not (the film is much more fleshed out), you’ll have a good time and feel the love if you go see Alexander and the Terrible………oh, you know. We go 4 stars.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Movie Rating: 4

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day PosterAlexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day PosterCourtesy of Disney

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is in theaters now!