Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day review – agitating matinee fare

Disney’s answer to Diary of a Wimpy Kid has plenty of vomit gags, but is not quite winning enough

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day garner carell oxenbould
Jennifer Garner, Steve Carell and (front) Ed Oxenbould in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Photograph: Allstar/Disney Photograph: Allstar/Disney
Jennifer Garner, Steve Carell and (front) Ed Oxenbould in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Photograph: Allstar/Disney Photograph: Allstar/Disney

Last modified on Mon 3 Dec 2018 10.40 EST

Here’s a pretty ordinary Disney response to Fox’s sharper Diary of a Wimpy Kid series: bright yet sensitive pre-teen (Ed Oxenbould, not quite winning enough) feels dreadful for commuting – via an errant birthday wish – 24 hours of bad luck onto his nearest and dearest; 75 minutes of sketches involving car crashes, vomit and escaped kangaroos ensue, followed by a five-minute affirmation of the family that “steers its ship with positivity”. The grownups grab a few legitimately funny bits, but it makes for strangely agitating, passive-aggressive matinee fare: perhaps you just have to enjoy watching rows breaking out more than this viewer does.

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