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"ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY"
(2014) (Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner) (PG)


Alcohol/Drugs Moderate
Blood/Gross Stuff Moderate
Disrespectful/Bad Attitude Heavy
Frightening/Tense Scenes Mild
Gun/Weapons None
Imitative Behavior Heavy
Jump Scenes Moderate
Music (Scary/Tense) Moderate
Music (Inappropriate) Mild
Profanity Mild
Sex/Nudity Mild
Smoking None
Tense Family Scenes Heavy
Topics to Talk About Heavy
Violence Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: A suburban family consisting of a mom, a dad, and four kids collectively have a very bad day that brings them all together.
PLOT:
Alexander Cooper (ED OXENBOULD) is having a very bad day. His birthday falls on the same day as the most popular kid in middle school, and everyone wants to go to his party. He tries to impress the cute girl in his carpool and ends up setting fire to her notebook and the school's chemistry lab. At the same time, his entire family seems to be having success on all levels.

Alexander's dad, Ben (STEVE CARELL), has been out of work for seven months but has managed to score an interview with an up-and-coming videogame developer. His mom, Kelly (JENNIFER GARNER), is on the verge of a major promotion at the publishing company she works at. His older brother, Anthony (DYLAN MINNETTE), is about to get his driver's license and take Celia (BELLA THORNE), the prettiest girl in school, to the prom. His older sister, Emily (KERRIS DORSEY), is the star of the middle school's version of "Peter Pan." And his baby brother, Trevor (ELISE and ZOEY VARGAS), is cute and cuddly and is getting all of the attention.

Feeling down, Alexander lights a candle on a cupcake at midnight on his birthday and makes a wish that everyone could have the kind of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day he has just had. The next morning, no one's alarm goes off; Emily wakes up with a terrible cold; Ben learns he is twice the age of anyone at the videogame company and he has to take Trevor to his interview, and the baby manages to get green magic marker all over his face; Kelly has failed to spot a big typo in the children's book her company is launching; and Anthony not only fails his driving test, he completely thrashes the family minivan. And that's just the start...

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Yes, absolutely. It's based on a popular children's book that has been expanded for the big screen, and the film is getting heavy ad play on Nickelodeon, the Cartoon Network and other young-skewing cable channels.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For rude humor, including some reckless behavior and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • STEVE CARELL plays an unemployed husband and father of four, who is the eternal optimist. He has embraced his new role as the primary caregiver of his family while his wife works harder and harder as the sole bread-winner. He is a dedicated spouse and parent and tries his best to keep it together for his family's sake. But he does get frustrated at times, having once had a promising career as an aerospace engineer, and lets out his pent-up aggression on inanimate objects. He comes close to using profanity on a couple of occasions, but doesn't. He drinks socially.
  • JENNIFER GARNER plays a wife and mother of four, who has become the family's sole bread-winner with her husband out of work. She is in a high-pressure job at a publishing company that demands she spend more and more time away from home and family. As such, she is sometimes irritable and makes rash decisions.
  • ED OXENBOULD plays their middle son, who is the film's narrator and through line. He is down on life generally and laments that no one will be coming to his birthday party because it falls on the same day as the most popular kid in school. He has a crush on a girl in his carpool, but his klutzy ways often get in the way of making any headway with her. He wishes on a birthday wish that the other members of his family know what it's like to have such a bad day as the one he just had.
  • DYLAN MINNETTE plays his older brother, who is being led around by a domineering girlfriend who he tries to please at all times, but can't make happy. He is eager to get his driver's license and take her to prom. He is a good-hearted kid, who sometimes insults his younger brother. But he ends up having a deep love and appreciation for family.
  • BELLA THORNE plays the shrewish, domineering girlfriend, who is very demanding of her boyfriend and is the typical popular girl who follows the crowd. Case in point, she criticizes Anthony's choice of a pre-prom restaurant until some of her classmates come into the restaurant and remark how great it is. She is always on the verge of breaking up with Anthony, which keeps him on his feet and trying to please her.
  • KERRIS DORSEY plays his slightly older sister, who is the star of her middle school's production of "Peter Pan." Unfortunately, she wakes up on the morning of her opening night with a very bad cold that she tries to keep at bay by drinking way too much cold medicine. The excessive use of the medicine causes her to first get loopy, affecting her on-stage performance, and then sick to her stomach.
  • ZOE and ELISE VARGAS play the family's baby, who becomes distraught when his favorite pacifier is mangled in the garbage disposal. He then gets into a bag and smears green magic marker all over his face.

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