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

Posted by admin on October 13, 2014


Life has a distinct balance of creating moments to both cherish and dismiss. I think it’s safe to say that everyone has had at least had one bad day they wish it could erase from their mind. Maybe they became stricken with a terrible illness, they didn’t get the job that they worked hard on or even simply getting a dish at a restaurant they’ve wanted to try only for the food to come out cold.  Nothing puts people in a crabby mood then to have a day where everything seems to go wrong and that they just a victim of bad circumstance.

What makes us mad about bad days is that we wish that we could put the blame on something, but rarely does that exist. We can’t even hold ourselves accountable and we simply accept that this day has simply chosen to not go our way. 

The best cure to any bad day for me is to simply consider where I am. I could have walked out of a bad movie and hit traffic for an hour, but I’m grateful that I even have a car and had the money to catch a flick. No matter how bad the day has become, something of yours will always catch your before you fall to your lowest. Never has that been emphasized better then in Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Eleven year old Alexander Cooper could not be having a worse day. He wakes up with gum in his hair, trips over his skateboard, could not get a window seat in the carpool, finds out that no one is coming to his birthday, and nearly burns down the science building while trying to impress a girl. What gripes him the most is that his family doesn’t provide much sympathy. It’s not that their mean, but they have busy lives of their own. At midnight, he makes himself a birthday sundae and wishes that his family could walk in his shoes.

No one is safe from the curse of a bad day. His father Ben (played by Steve Carell) has to juggle a job interview, watch his toddler child, and plan Alex’s birthday party. His mother Kelly (played by Jennifer Garner) has to manage a book reading gone wrong and deal without her car which died in the night. His older brother Anthony has to deal with getting suspended, trying to take his drivers test and take his girlfriend to prom. His older sister Emily catches a cold that could damage her performance as Peter-Pan in a school play.

For something that’s based off of a children’s book of the same name, you’d expect the gag of having a bad day become old very fast. But I can say that I had a ball watching the mishaps after another. The best way to describe the tone here is something like a John Hughes movie crossed with Modern Family. The film also reminded me of another classic Disney movie, Freaky Friday, which had a similar idea of a super natural wish within a suburban environment.  

It may not be the great comedic movie of the year, but parents going into this with their children will be surprised by how much they’ll be laughing along with the younger ones. Bad child actors and weak storylines could have made this movie a dumb film, but Alexander managed to find young talent that never becomes annoying and made sure that the stories tied in to the rest of the families’ day well. Despite it’s title, mom and dad rule the movie as both Carell and Garner lead the family through it’s curse as they each learn about why bad days are necessary and making it to their young son’s birthday.


I’ll give this four Australian travel posters out of five. For something that could have been (and probably should have been) nothing more then a predictable sitcom, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day makes for a enjoyable, fun, good, very likable movie that will make plenty of people laugh.