Parents who fondly remember National Lampoon’s Vacation and kids who chortled through the Diary Of A Wimpy Kid movies will find much to enjoy in this comedy about a very bad day in the life of the Cooper family. For when Alexander (Oxenbould) uses his birthday wish to ask that his parents, brother Anthony, sister Emily and baby Trevor get to experience the kind of awful days only Alexander thinks he suffers, it seems to come true as their day spirals from not very great to completely disastrous in a matter of hours.
Carell and Garner, as Alexander’s stressed parents are both a hoot as they navigate an embarrassing book launch, a job interview with baby in tow, and trying to juggle their offsprings’ various activities that include an hilariously bad driving test, the prom and even dafter school play. While there are some story strands that are forgotten in the jovial chaos (Alexander gets lumbered with the school pet for the weekend, and then it is never mentioned again), the fast pace and cute performances from the cast, including cameos from the always wonderful Jennifer Coolidge and Dick Van Dyke, more than make up for any plot holes. Enjoyably silly stuff.
Is Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...