Friday, October 10, 2014

Alexander’s Bad Day is Good for Everyone Else

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Jennifer Garner, Kerris Dorsey and Ed Oxenbould  (Disney)
Finally, this weekend you can find out for yourself why Steve Carrell is chasing a kangaroo and what that has to do with Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, NoGood, Very Bad Day. And it will be a good excuse to go to the theater.

Sometimes when the term “loosely based” is used to describe a movie, it means that the film follows the plot of the original book only to a point. Here, Alexander is extremely loosely based on the book of the same name by Judith Viorst, but in a good way. The 32-page illustrated children’s book has very little dialogue and plot to work with for a full-length movie. “The idea for the film adaptation was to use the story in the book as the first act of the movie,” says producer Lisa Henson. “The second two acts of the film had to be a completely original storyline set during a second day that is even worse than Alexander’s first terrible, horrible, very bad day.” 


Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Steve Carell
The end result is reminiscent to both versions of Disney’s Freaky Friday. Here, Alexander doesn’t feel that anyone in his family understands what it is like to have a bad day and can’t relate to him. On the eve of his birthday, he celebrates at midnight with some ice cream and a candle and accidentally makes a wish.  What follows is crazy hijinks that one expects from a Disney family comedy, but not exactly in the Disney tradition.


Directed by Miguel Arteta, Alexander may be the first Disney movie to utter the word “penis” and to have some literal bathroom humor. In a way, it actually makes this unbelievable tale a little more believable.