takes family on 'Very Bad Day' in Disney comedy
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[October 11, 2014]
By Piya Sinha-Roy
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A
rogue crocodile, a green baby, a puking Peter Pan and a
punching kangaroo are troublesome yet comedic obstacles
that befall the Cooper family on a "Terrible, Horrible,
No Good, Very Bad Day" in Disney's new live-action
"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad
Day," out in U.S. theaters on Friday, is expanded from the 1972
book of the same name about a perpetually unlucky pre-teen boy.
After a particularly bad day at school that includes setting the
science lab on fire, Alexander, played by Australian newcomer Ed
Oxenbould, makes a wish on his 12th birthday that his family
could experience just one very bad day.
And that's when things start going wrong for the Coopers - mom
Kelly (Jennifer Garner) must try to avert a publishing disaster
involving Dick Van Dyke while dad Ben (Steve Carell) tries to
juggle baby duties with a job interview.
"I really thought about how relatable it all was, how it related
to my life as a parent," said Carell, who has two young
children. "So much of it rang true, and when things didn't ring
true to us, we would speak up."
Eldest son Anthony (Dylan Minnette) destroys the family vehicle
during his driving test and gets suspended before prom, while
his aspiring thespian sister Emily (Kerris Dorsey) gets the flu
ahead of playing "Peter Pan" on stage.
As the Coopers navigate the numerous hazards thrown their way,
including fire, shrimp and some hunky Australian cowboys, they
find themselves bonding.
"(Alexander) realizes everyone goes through the bad days, he's
not alone, and when he has this bad day with his family, he
really connects with them and they really understand him,"
Walt Disney Co. has most recently delivered family fare in
animated, fairytale and superhero genres, with hits including
"Frozen," "Maleficent" and "Guardians of the Galaxy."
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"Very Bad Day," made for $28 million according to BoxOfficeMojo.com,
sees the studio embracing live-action family friendly movies that it
was known for making, with classics such as the "The Parent Trap" in
1961, 1976's "Freaky Friday" and 1993's "Cool Runnings." It is
projected by BoxOffice.com to open with $16.5 million at the box
"It's so fun that Disney is making movies for whole families,
live-action films, for families again," said Garner, who has three
children with husband Ben Affleck.
Director Miguel Arteta said he was inspired by 1980s movies such as
John Hughes's "Sixteen Candles" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," and
wanted to infuse some nostalgia into "Very Bad Day."
"Family movies have mostly become animated movies, and they're doing
incredible work in that area, but I was excited that Disney wanted
to go back to something they had done great in the sixties," Arteta
"This is a movie where people will have fun, laugh a lot, but they
also recognize the family and feel like that family is a little bit
like their family."
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Eric Kelsey and Ken Wills)
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