By: Anthony Zangrillo


Disney’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” follows the adventures of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould), as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life.  Based on Judith Viorst’s 1972 children’s novel, which bears the same name, the film is directed by Miguel Arteta, from a screenplay written by Rob Lieber.  Alexander’s day begins with gum getting stuck in his hair, followed by one mishap after another.  But, when Alexander tells his bubbly family about the misadventures of his terrible day, he finds little solace or understanding.  Alex begins to wonder if only his life has problems.  He soon learns that he is not alone when his mom (Jennifer Garner), dad (Steve Carell), brother (Dylan Minnette), sister (Kerris Dorsey), and youngest brother all find themselves living through their own horrible days.


Alex’s father is stuck with eternal optimism, while Alex’s mother struggles with balancing work and family life. Their children, aside from Alexander, seem to have everything going for them.  However, one day, everything goes wrong.  Alexander’s family experiences a day marred with sickness, horrible job interviews, girlfriend problems, driver’s test failures, and job stress.  There is also a scene, which involves a character eating a green permanent marker.

In the end, the whole family comes together to give Alexander a memorable birthday.  Overall, the movie is both hilarious and touching.  It seamlessly blends the two different tones to achieve a perfect balance.  It turns what appears, at first, to be a family that didn’t fully understand each other, into a family that understands the hardships that each family member is facing.  In the end, they all just want what is the best for each other. Ultimately, the movie stays with you after you leave the theater, and it is great for the whole family to see together.

Score: 7/10


Anthony Zangrillo is the President and Owner of the Motion Picture Club. While an undergraduate student at NYU, he founded the Motion Picture Club. At the Fordham University School of Law, he was the Online Editor of the Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal and started the IPLJ Podcast, which continues recording to this day. You can find him on Instagram: @anthony_mpc.


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