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

Somewhere back in my childhood exists a memory of a book. A book that felt like a biography for me at times as I grew up. That book is *clears throat* Alexander and Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (phew, that’s a long one). Originally printed in 1987, this simple book recounts a day in unlucky little Alexander’s life. This kid just can’t get a break. Fast forward to 2014, writers have lost the ability to create so they revert to retelling tales they grew up on. Normally that bothers me, but in this case, I’ll take it! This 2014 adaptation of this beloved children’s book is fun, predictable and lovable through and through.

Alexander, played by Ed Oxenbould (Julian, 2012), lives a rough life. His family is #blessed in every way. His father played by Steve Carell (The Office) is an eternal optimist. His mother Jennifer Garner (Alias) is a successful publicist. His brother (Dylan Minnette (Prisoners) and sister Kerris Dorsey (Moneyball) are incredibly talented and well liked in their schools. Alexander is… well, he’s just kind of there. When people aren’t making fun of him and he is not doing something incredibly embarrassing he fades into the background.

“I just want them to have a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day [hey that’s the movie title!] so they can know how I feel for once.”

With this simple wish over a self-made ice cream sundae on his birthday, the movie is set into motion. Perhaps set on a train track headed for a cliff is a better analogy. As expected each family member gets tested in their particular area of skill to hilarious result. Meanwhile, Alexander stumbles through his day as usual cool as a cucumber. You see, having a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a common occurrence for young Alexander. While his family melts down around him he looks on in amazement. All of this culminates in an expected, but still sweet, emotional climax wrapped up in a kangaroo and alligator filled happy ending bow.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is not the best family movie of the year, but it is a lot of fun. I have no doubt that you will enjoy watching this with your family for years to come. Yeah, it’s predictable and silly at times. Yes, you’ve seen similar scenarios played out a hundred times. But the chemistry of the cast and some great direction by Miguel Arteta puts Alexander at the head of the pack for family fun movies this year.

What did you think of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Let us know below!

Bryce Cooley
I've been doing some form of ministry since 2000. For 13 years I was involved in the youth ministry at Cordova Neighborhood Church as everything from youth intern to youth pastor. God has led me and my lovely wife Bethany to Church of the Foothills where I currently reside as the Digital Publishing Coordinator. I'm excited to see where God leads my wife and I.