courtesy of

Rachel Seo, Photojournalist

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day could have been one of two things:

  1. Awful.
  2. Or a decent family movie with an okay box office showing and a fair Rotten Tomatoes rating.


Lucky for Disney and its reputation, Alexander was anything but awful, though it can hardly be considered a classic.


Starring Ed Oxenbould, Steve Carell, and Jennifer Garner, Alexander features an eleven-year-old boy of the same name. Alexander, by all rights and reasons, is your average guy: average looking, average grades, average popularity. He’s not at the top of the food chain, but he’s not at the bottom, either. And for the most part, he’s okay with it.

However, one day, he wakes up and everything seems to go wrong for him. Gum gets stuck in his hair, he trips over the sprinkler, and somebody text-bombs everyone in the entire school embarrassing pictures of him. Then he burns his crush’s lab book and, to top it all off, the most popular kid at school is having a party the same day Alexander is having his own birthday celebration.

What else could possibly go wrong?

To make things worse, his family seems to be having an awesome day–and they’re not sparing any breath to let the whole world know.

That’s when Alexander decides that he’s had enough.

After an impulsive, ill-fated midnight wish, Alexander wakes up and discovers that he may have cursed the day for his family–and, in the chaos that follows, learns that sometimes even the worst of days can have the best of endings.

Alexander truly meets expectations. Ed Oxenbould, the Australian actor cast for the part of Alexander, is the perfect fit for the role; likewise, Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner give excellent performances as his optimistic, genuine parents.

However, it is in the plot and characters that Alexander exceeded trailer-induced judgments. Kaylee Nguyen (10) discovered that the movie “was better than [she] thought it would be” and that “it [was] funny and…cute.” Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day certainly had the potential to indeed be terrible and horrible; however, its storyline and jokes were unique enough to ring true to audience’s hearts.

Let me make it clear: Alexander is a completely unrealistic movie. The things that happen in it are hilarious because they’re completely out of the ordinary: there is no way in heaven that anyone in any part of suburbia will ever have as bad a day as Alexander’s family does. There is also no way in heaven that anyone in any part of the world will ever have as good an ending to that day as Alexander’s family does.

But honestly, that’s what makes this movie charming: its complete fantasy creates a mostly wholesome, laugh-filled story that extends beyond the hilarity of the scenes in the trailer.