Alexander's day begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by more calamities. However, he finds little sympathy from his family and begins to wonder if bad things only happen to him, his mom, dad, brother and sister - who all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
For 12 year old Alexander Cooper, everyday is a bad day. And his family thinks he's being silly because they never have a bad day. On the day before his 12th birthday party, he learns that another boy is having a party of his own and everyone is going to it. And another kid punks him online. So at midnight of his birthday, he wishes that his whole family can have a bad day. And things for the whole family go bad, his mom's car is broken so they have to share a car, his sister has a cold and has to go on stage, his older brother, who's hoping to get his driver's license and to bring his girlfriend to the prom, has to deal with his girlfriend's snootiness and fails to get his license, his mom has a crisis at work which could cost her her job, and his dad who has a job interview has to bring his younger brother with him but because his pacifier is broken he can't stop crying. Alex feels responsible. Written by
Disney's trips into live-action comedy always have a consistent tone: bright, bubbly, bumbling, and inoffensive, with just the slightest hint of edge. Alexander is no different. If only its humor would land...and when it did, it wasn't beat to death. Instead of spending any amount of time on a coherent story or a real purpose, it sways towards cheap, dumb humor. Alexander is the kind of nonsensical slapstick "family" comedy that kids will inevitably enjoy and forget, while parents will be forced to endure and forget. Alexander is a preteen that has a bad but NORMAL day (popularity, girls, small chemistry fire); that same day, his family is celebrating some truly great developments (new job, best-selling book, first prom). Alex decides, out of spite or loneliness or something, that his misery deserves company, so he wishes for them to have a horrible day. And they do. And by the end of the movie, they are a better family?! What's the lesson in that?! If things aren't going your way, then hope the people you love have it even worse? The premise could've been solid: really push the over-the-top notion of this down-on-his-luck kid struggling to survive juxtaposed against a perfect and aloof family. They even hired some great performers that could've really gotten some genuine laughs. Unfortunately, most of these actors are completely wasted, and in the end, Alexander tries to have its cake and eat it too, half its toe in fantasy and the other half in sloppy reality. Maybe I'm asking too much from a kid's film, but Alexander is a pointless and mostly laughless outing.
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