Blu-ray Review: “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”

It is rare that a film has quite the mouthful of a title that “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” has. I still haven’t memorized it all yet! It is based on a book by the same name, and I’m not sure if I read it as a child (it was first published in 1972). From what I understand, the movie is very different than the book.

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” surprised me in how much I enjoyed it. We were out of town during the media preview, and ended up watching it on the Disney Cruise Line soon after (one of the perks of the cruise is first-run Disney films). Ed Oxenbould as Alexander is an absolute delight, and I had no idea he was Australian until watching the bonus features. It is especially interesting considering Alexander is obsessed about Australia in the film. This is a movie that the whole family can enjoy together.

“Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” is sort of a guilty pleasure film for me. I often dislike movies that are as unrealistic as this one is, but the casting of Jennifer Garner, Steve Carrell, and Oxenbould is a winning combination. I just found it utterly likeable and winning, even as I realized that almost nothing in this film could happen in real life.

The bonus features are a bit light, with my favorite being Alexander…in Real Life. The book’s author, Judith Viorst, talks about being inspired by her son Alexander. He tended to have very, very bad days – including coming home with a hurt knee after a fall in…storytime. Alexander didn’t really want a book published that was based on him, until he realized his name would be on the cover. It is a fairly short bonus feature, but worth watching.

If you liked the Australian animals in the film that were part of Alexander’s party, than Snappy Crocs and Punchy Roos: The Australian Outback Yard Party will be of interest. Get up close and personal with some of the critters that starred in the film, and find out how this scene was created.

Walkabout: A Video Diary is Oxenbould being given a video camera to run around and show an inside look at the set, from construction to craft services to costuming. The filming is very shaky, it would have been nice to have more image stabilization. I couldn’t watch it straight through.

The blooper real isn’t the best one I’ve ever seen, but shows how much fun the cast had together. Dick Van Dyke is featured here as well, in his scene with Jennifer Garner.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is rated PG.

Our film grade: B

Bonus features grade: C-