Is it worth $10? No
“Fun Size” is amoral, unfunny and a chore to sit through. Worse, it takes some situations with children so nonchalantly that it becomes uncomfortable to watch. If ever a movie sends the wrong message to kids, this is it.
For example, there’s a scene in which a lost eight year-old boy, Albert (Jackson Nicoll), goes into a convenience store. The clerk, Fuzzy (Thomas Middleditch), likes Albert so much that he asks Albert to join him on a mission, and Albert, who is mute, agrees. To be clear, I am not a parent. But how can anyone watch Fuzzy talk Albert into his car and not think horrible, awful things? Thankfully nothing bad happens, but it’s such a terrible message that you feel sorry for parents who need to convince their non-believing kids that it’s always a bad idea to get in a car with a stranger.
No worries, though, because things get worse for Albert from there. To backtrack: High school senior Wren (Victoria Justice) is stuck babysitting Albert on Halloween after their flaky mother (Chelsea Handler) ditches at the last minute to go to a party with her much-younger boyfriend Keevin (Josh Pence). Wren takes Albert trick-or-treating, during which Albert gets lost in a haunted house. With the help of geeky nice guys Roosevelt (Thomas Mann) and Peng (Osric Chau) Wren desperately looks for Albert, but gets tricked into going to a party by her friend April (Jane Levy), who wants Wren to hook up with hottie Aaron (Thomas McDonell).
With a best friend who cares so little about Wren’s family, Wren doesn’t need enemies. She does, however, need director Josh Schwartz to keep her out of such cheap jokes as a motorized chicken humping a station wagon. Wren could also use a little brother who looked like he actually wanted to be found, because really, if Albert doesn’t care about finding his family neither will we. And the last thing Wren needs is to realize what a stale, unrealistic cliché it is for her to even consider the nice guy after a bad boy whom all the girls adore professes his love for her.
Here are a few positives that keep “Fun Size” from being completely deplorable: Justice has good screen presence and is pretty, so better material could lead to her becoming a legit movie star. There are a few funny moments, including the timely use of Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” for a good laugh, and the movie is less than 90 minutes, which equates to a mercy killing.
Does this outweigh the fact that there’s condoned kidnapping, child abandonment, leaving the scene of an accident, shooting, drinking and driving, littering and destruction of personal property in a movie aimed at young teens? Absolutely not. Granted the film is rated PG-13, but parents, trust me: Keep your children and yourselves as far away from “Fun Size” as possible.
Did you know?
Justice has starred in the child-friendly Nickelodeon TV series “Zoey 101” and “Victorious.”
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