New Look at ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’ Is Cute, Good, Not So Bad

By January 3, 2014


Now here’s a genuinely fun and clever way to expand out a thirty-something-paged children’s book into a full-length feature film. Judith Viorst’s “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” has been a beloved classic since it first hit shelves back in 1972, and its chronicles of the eponymous Alexander and his epically bad day have proven to be relatable to plenty of little ones (it starts with gum in the hair, it ends with kissing on TV), but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the kiddie book was ripe for the big screen picking.

But, hey, it seems as if director Miguel Arteta (Cedar Rapids) and newbie screenwriter Rob Lieber have cracked the code on this one, expanding out Alexander’s bad day to encompass his entire family. And, man, can you start to see the toll that day is taking on them in this new still from the film. What are they all yelling at? What’s on that baby’s face? Why is Steve Carell dressed like a pirate? What a day, indeed.


As FirstShowing reports, “The film follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the most terrible and horrible day of his young life—a day that begins with gum stuck in his hair, followed by one calamity after another. But when Alexander finds little sympathy from his family, he soon learns that he’s not alone when his brother, sister, mom and dad all find themselves living through their own terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” Carell and Jennifer Garner are on hand to play young Alexander’s parents, and the rest of the cast includes such talents as Megan Mullally and Jennifer Coolidge.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day will open on October 10.

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Kate Erbland
Kate Erbland is a staff writer for movie news and reviews at GeekNation. Her work can also be found at Film School Rejects, ScreenCrush, Vanity Fair, The Dissolve, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, amNewYork, New York Daily News, Dame Magazine, Mental Floss,, MSN Movies, and Boxoffice Magazine. She lives in New York City with two cats, two turtles, one boyfriend, and a frightening number of sensible canvas totes.