I was able to see an early screening of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day during my press trip to Los Angeles recently, which included (among many other exciting activities) an interview with Producer Lisa Henson (Jim Henson’s daughter). I was able to see the movie again with my family at a local screening. Disney covered my travel and accommodations for my press trip to LA, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. All photos are courtesy of Disney.
It’s a rare movie that can fulfill so many things at once. I laughed. I teared up. I enjoyed it just as much as the 11 year old sitting next to me. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is the ultimate feel-good family-friendly movie – truly something that the whole family can enjoy together.
After seeing the movie in LA, we met with Producer Lisa Henson, and I’ve added some of her insights here, because I thought that they really resonated with me and the way that Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day made me feel.
Lisa Henson said, “The idea of making a family film that really every person in the family can enjoy…and not something that the adults must accompany their children to and not really enjoy. We wanted this movie to be appreciated on all levels by every person in the family. I hope that families go all together to see it. There’s so many ways in which families are sort of being split up in their viewing patterns. Kids preferring to watch one thing, adults maybe, even at the exact same time are watching something different. And we would love it if families would watch the film together.”
I appreciated that Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is not just slapstick comedy – it really has a heart, and at the heart of the movie are the relationships that the family members have with each other. The movie is built around the theme that if you’re having a bad day, the people in your network of support – your family, your friends, or whatever that might be – are always there to catch you.
Lisa Henson said, “Alexander in the book really feels misunderstood. And if his family wasn’t there loving him, in spite of his bad day, it would just be a bleak book. It would be a a depressing book for children as opposed to a happy one. So I think the idea that the family is loving, and your family is there for you no matter what, is really in the original book, as short as that book is. So many bad things happen to people in the film. But everybody ultimately has compassion for the rest of their family. And, one of the things that I love about the movie is it’s so easy to relate to and there cannot be a family that hasn’t experienced a day where you might have even prayed the night before, ‘Am I really going to be able…can we juggle all these things?'”
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst was one of my favorite books growing up, and so I was thrilled to hear that it was coming to theaters. But I admit…I also worried that the movie would not get the book “right” or that it would not meet up to my expectations. I am happy to say that it exceeded my expectations. Is it fair to say that I was expecting a comedy that would leave me rolling my eyes more often than it would leave me laughing? I was pleasantly surprised that it was intelligent and heart-felt. Yes, the things that happen to the Cooper family may be a little extreme (at least for one day!) but each of the characters was so relatable, and I really could see MY family in their experiences and their reactions.
Lisa Henson said, “We went through a really interesting development process taking that very small and very intimate little book and blowing it up into a full feature film by focusing on the rest of the family. But we really felt that Alexander, as a character, is such a sweet and lovable underdog. There’s a little bit of Alexander in everybody, including adults. You know, even adults have bad days, and teenagers have bad days, and mommies have bad days….”
Oh, yes, we do!
Want to have a GOOD day? Take your family to see Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, in theaters TODAY!
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