Monday, September 02, 2013

Fun Size Review: Serving Up Fun in Very Small Doses

I jokingly asked Scott if he'd write a review for the film Fun Size.  I knew teenage comedies weren't his thing, and I assumed he'd tell me a creative way to shove one body part into another.  Instead, the little trooper watched the movie and had this review to me in less than 24 hours.  I now feel obligated to see this movie and offer my own thoughts.  That will have to wait.  For now, here is Scott's review of a teen comedy from last year that most of you probably were unaware got wide release.

--------------------------------------------

If you were ever dreaming of a movie that was a cross between Adventures in Babysitting and Baby’s Day Out set around Halloween with socially conscious teenage girls who rely on the help of nerdy boys (who could completely ruin their reputation if they be seen with such scallywags), then you may believe that Fun Size is the movie for you.  And basically it is, but solely because it fits that specific list of criteria that few (if any) other movies fit into.

Fun Size
is a story of Wren (Victoria Justice) who has recently lost her father due to death (I cannot quite remember how he died), has a mother who is robbing the cradle with a fellow named Keevin (not a typo), with a little brother who no longer speaks (a clich√© device for a character if ever there was one), and a friend named April played by Jane Levy.  Wren hopes to go to the Halloween party of ever so dreamy Aaron Riley, but her plans get put on hold when her mother asks her to take her brother out to gather his Halloween candies from the neighbours.  Along the way, she loses her brother and is tossed into situations of shenanigans on the path to getting him back.

It may seem as though I am not giving a lot of respect to the plot of the movie, and truth be told I am not.  It is rather formulaic, and moves along at a predictable pace with characters that are hard to have much feelings towards as they seem mostly unrelatable.  The movie should be geared towards young folk, but disperses some sexual humour that parents may find inappropriate, such as a scene of a totally consensual yet altogether awkward breast grabbing for a predetermined time of twenty seconds.  It is a standard case of missing the mark for its intended audience.  The movie also happens in a world where people find a young child out on their own and, instead of calling the police, involve them in their misadventures of revenge or bring them into a night club for some dancing.

While a movie like this is usually fodder for scathing comments (and perhaps it does deserve some), I would rather focus on some of the positives that keep this movie from being a generic waste of time and/or money.  Fun Size does have a few moments and aspects of a good movie, and I feel that it should get some recognition for those as most movies of similar quality have mediocre qualities at best.

The casting may not be great across the board, but there were some quality decisions that made for a few relatable or enjoyable characters.  Chelsea Handler did a good job of playing Wren’s mother, who was at a crux in dealing with the full emotional remains of her late husband’s passing.  Jane Levy was great as a social status obsessed friend, and she can be a bright spot in many a suffering movie.  Most recently she brought some fun to Evil Dead as she battled the apocalypse with one hand and a chainsaw, all while quitting the drugs cold turkey and going through withdrawal.  The best casting was for the dual mothers of Roosevelt (the nerdy friend of Wren’s) played by Kerri Kenney and Ana Gasteyer, who were both hilarious in witty caricature roles.

There were also moments where the film seemed to rise above the early standards it set for itself, and brought scenes of terrific humour.  There were around five times where I was not only smiling, but laughing deep from my potato and egg filled belly.  It was in those moments that I had a strong hope for what may lay around the next corner for our protagonist.

Unfortunately for the cast and crew of Fun Size, laughing five times at a movie and then forgetting most of the premise the next day (such as how the father died) does not equal a quality film.  While it does have moments of personality, charm, and wit, those moments are scattered throughout with very little piecing them together.  As stated earlier, if you are looking for a movie that is a cross between Adventures in Babysitting and Baby’s Day Out set around Halloween with socially conscious teenage girls who rely on the help of nerdy boys, then Fun Size is the movie for you.  If you are simply looking for a decent movie, pick any film at random and the chances are good that it may be a better use of your time.

Rating *1/2

No comments:

Post a Comment