In case you hadn’t gathered from the title, Alexander isn’t having such a hot day.
In fact, in his eyes, most days suck. This is made all the more suck-worthy by the fact that the rest of his family seem to experience only AWESOME days.
On the eve of his 12th Birthday he learns that another boy is having a party of his own and everyone is planning to attend that one, rather than Alexander’s own offering. And another kid punks him online with a photoshopped image that goes viral. So at the stroke of midnight as it ticks over to his birthday, he makes a wish that his whole family can have a bad day. And when things for the whole family DO go bad, Alexander isn’t so sure that laying a bad luck curse on his entire clan was such a good idea.
This felt to me like an “Anti- Disney” Disney movie, and just like kids can be naughty, the film lets itself veer into cheeky territory often enough that’s it’s pretty much solidly enjoyable all the way through.
But it wouldn’t BE a Disney film without a healthy dose of warm and fuzzy thrown in for good measure, so unless cheese makes you barf – I’m as sentimental as they come, so bring on the cheddar – then this is a genuinely entertaining, and funny family movie.
Touches like Alexander (played beautifully by young Aussie actor Ed Oxenbould) having an obsession with all things Australian, culminating in an “Aussie Cowboy” show at his party with a memorable INXS soundtrack, teenage bro Anthony (Dylan Minnette) playing it like a young Channing Tatum, and Steve Carrell doing his best Steve Carrell face throughout the film make this as reliable as a McDonalds meal on the highway. You’re unlikely to find something better, it most likely won’t kill you, and it doesn’t taste so bad, so enjoy it while it lasts.
And by that I mean, be generous and let yourself laugh out loud at all the ridiculous set-ups. They’re funny as hell. Sorry Disney – funny as heck.
3 & 1/2 Stars.