As adaptations go, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a pretty abysmal one. Not only does it almost completely ignore the source material for both story and characterisation (short of a few scant references), it also makes no effort whatsoever to maintain the objective of the book—that children are really just very whiny, melodramatic, lazy attention seekers. (Seriously, what kinda kids’ book is this?)
However, as a movie, not only is it 81 minutes of good family fun, it’s also a genuinely laugh-out-loud experience.
While movies with a mix of new child actors and older more seasoned vets tend to end up with the youngsters being almost entirely overshadowed, ATHNGVBD (you didn’t think I was going to keep typing the full title, did you?) is measured throughout with a satisfying balance that allows everyone shine for the right amount that they should.
While the traditional Disney kid friendliness of the movie gets increasingly prominent by the end of the movie, it never gets too overwhelming and the comedy keeps the overall experience fun and lighthearted.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day opens December 4th 2014.