How do your turn a 32-page children’s book about a young boy’s horrid day into a feature-length film? That is the question that was raised when I first heard that Disney would adapt “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” While the movie is not as bad as it sound on paper, the movie itself is mediocre with a couple of decent moments sprinkled throughout the film.
Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) has the worst luck in the world, especially on his birthday. While everything looks bright for his father (Steve Carell), mother (Jennifer Garner), sister (Kerris Dorsey) and brother (Dylan Minnette), Alexander couldn’t but wonder whether if bad things only happen to him. The next day, his family soon begins to experience their own bad luck with a day that keeps getting worse by the minute.
“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” does a good job expanding the original story by extending Alexander’s bad luck to his family instead of solely focusing on him (even it begins via a scene straight out of the Jim Carrey movie, “Liar, Liar”). Although Carrell and Garner are the co-leads in the film, Oxenbould anchors most of the movie and he delivers a great performance as a sympathetic and believable kid instead of a precocious, lovable protagonist. Despite that, the movie uses over-the-top physical and potty humor as a crutch for the majority of the laughs. There are also times where there are cliché and disingenuous moments that will cause you to roll your eyes like the garbage can-kicking sequence.
The Blu-ray release of “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” features a bright and pleasant video presentation presented in 2:35:1 aspect ratio. With such a sunny video quality, this allows certain colors in the movie to pop out while looking completely natural. The color balance in the video presentation also makes the flesh tones on the actors’ face look normal instead of too pink or too white. The Blu-ray also allows showcase some of the intricate details in the clothing and in some of the scenery.
It is a light load on the bonus features for “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” but it carries a decent assortment of extras. One of the featurettes that stand out in entitled “Alexander in Real Life.” The former focuses on the creator of the book, Judith Viorst, and the inspiration behind her book, her now adult-son, Alex Viorst as they talk about the origins of the book and how it impacted their lives. The rest focuses on the making of certain scenes like the Australian-themed birthday party, deleted scene and bloopers.
If you are looking for a movie that the whole family will thoroughly enjoy, then “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is the ideal choice. The film is not exactly perfect, but it is completely harmless and contains some humorous moments. The Blu-ray disc also features a good video presentation and light, but fun bonus features to take a gander at.