Film Review: “Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day” (2014)


Directed by: Miguel Arteta

Written by: Rob Lieber

Based on Judith Viorst book

Stars: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Ed Oxenbould, Dylan Minnette, Kerris Dorsey, Elise Vargas, Zoey Vargas, Sidney Fullmer, Bella Thorne, Dick Van Dyke (himself)

On the day before his birthday, Alexander feels terrible.  His birthday party plans were about to be ruined because a girl he likes and the rest of his classmates were all going to another classmate`s party.  Everyone at home is busy and they have no time to give to a boy who is desperate to have a delightful, beautiful and absolutely magnificent day. But then, Alexander, the birthday boy, has the right to make a wish today — a wish that is about to come true.

One thing Alexander does not know is that this night his dream will become so real it will turn his whole family’s day upside down.  Then he will realize that not only he will have a bad day, but his whole family as well; that is, his mom, dad, brother, and sister will all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, and very, very, very bad day…

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day introduce to us its hero- a little boy, Alexander. His day does not begin the way he wanted.  He gets gum stuck in his hair.  His Mom (Jennifer Garner) misses an alarm and is about to miss a very important appointment with Dick Van Dyke (plays himself).  And his unemployed father (Steve Carell) suddenly receives a call for a job interview- but will he make it? The answer is provided by the creator of The Good Girl (2002, Jennifer Aniston), Miguel Arteta, a Puerto Rican director, who brings us back to the old times of Disney, when we all loved to watch such films as “Madhouse” (1990, Kirstie Alley, directed by Tom Ropelewski) or “It Takes Two” (1995, with The Olsen Sisters). So you will not be disappointed seeing the absolutely insane, hilarious, and dizzying scenes of this crazy movie.

If Miguel Arteta`s film is successful, then it will be because of Rob Lieber who came up with this incredible story that has so many life lessons.  More importantly, the movie is unquestionably suitable for families. Viewers will certainly watch it again and again. It is remarkable how Lieber developed the story of Judith Viorst book.  This is a comfortable story of a family that we all can relate to.  The dialogue is very well written. The screenplay makes sense while the entire cast does their best – going as nuts as possible.  They bring to life such a wonderful family, who no matter what, sticks together, relies on each other, and loves each other despite the fact that with every passing moment their life could get worse and worse. Today, their problems certainly have no intention of stopping- at all.

Steve Carrell, who recently can be seen in “Foxcatcher”, plays Ben Cooper, a high-tech genius, currently unemployed who is full of hope.  Jennifer Garner plays Carrell`s screen wife, Kelly Cooper, who is quite successful at her career despite the horribly bad day she experiences with her family. Ed Oxenbould is Alexander.  We are all going to cheer for Alexander.  Ahead of him is a day full of unfortunate events and he knows how bad it is to have a terribly, horrible, no good, and very bad day…

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day is an insanely hilarious film for the entire family. It is a funny movie  good enough for a Friday evening, to be entertained, to laugh until you are out of breath and to forget about the rest of the world while the entire Cooper family live through their terribly horribly bad day. The whole cast does a great acting job.  The story and the directing are so good; they remind me of the old-styled comedy films we all used to love.  This film delivers a very important message to its viewers, that it does not matter how bad our day is, or will be, as long as we are surrounded by people who support us, we can get through this day.  Appreciation, understanding and family unity,   isn’t that all you need, especially when you are having a simply terrible and horrible day?

2 thoughts on “Film Review: “Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day” (2014)

  1. Sounds like a great live-action family flick…which is something that hasn’t been seen in years. It is getting positive reviews everywhere and I’m a big fan of Steve…

    …So I’ll likely be catching this one soon enough!

%d bloggers like this: