Book to Film: Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Oh, it was a very, VERY bad day!  I am so glad I have NEVER had a day as bad as the Cooper family are having in this film!  At least, it was a terrible, no good, very bad day for everyone but Alexander!

Often, we find that Hollywood takes many liberties when it comes to movie adaptions.  And those of us who are purists to the book find ourselves at odds with the big screen version.  How could they leave out that one pivotal scene?  Why is this character saying something they would NEVER say in the book?  And who in the world is this new character?


However, director Miguel Arteta’s take on the classic Judith Viorst book is a refreshing one.  Admittedly, there are liberties taken, scenes created, entire character personalities reworked.  It is a short picture book, after all.  But this time, Hollywood got it right!

Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner do a wonderful job portraying two middleclass parents trying to juggle the demands of professional lives with their family.  The kids do an excellent job reminding us of how important things like prom, the school play and having friends to your birthday party can be when you are young.  As a middle aged mom, I got it.  The levity of reality mixed with the absurdity of car wrecks, flaming pirate shirts and blue tuxedos brought just enough silliness to the screen to make it an entertaining family comedy instead of the life story of every family out there.

We’ve all been there.  We’ve all had terrible, no good, very bad days.  It’s just that ours don’t end with an alligator in our living room.  At least I hope they don’t.


Did the movie adaption honor the book?  Yes.  Right down to Alexander’s obsession with Australia.  I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.  Check it out!  And when you are done, stop by your local library and borrow a copy of the original book by Judith Viorst.  I know at my libraries they are in high demand!



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