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Be careful what you wish for . . .

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Let’s be frank, young Alexander’s problems are first world ones: beset by a series of mishaps, not the least a hijack by a more popular kid of his planned 12th birthday party date, Alexander wishes his family could have the sort of bad days he does.

And they sure do! Job-hunting dad (Steve Carrell) who was ‘transitioned out of aerospace’ has to contend with the baby at an interview, while publishing assistant mum deals with a major typo crisis in a big book launch (enter Dick Van Dyke with a funny cameo).

Alexander’s older brother should not have left everything to the last minute for his prom as you can imagine what happens with hiring clothes, getting his driver’s licence or keeping faith with his girlfriend. Plus Alexander’s sister faces opening night headlining in the school production of Peter Pan.

It’s almost too painful to watch a modern-day family cope with the cascade of little difficulties that tinkle down upon them.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is more hyped up than Parenthood, but more family-centred than the Wimpy Kid franchise.

There is good family resemblance for the casting to work and a winsome character in the lead; Alexander played by Australian Ed Oxenbould (who needed a voice coach to speak American) with a charming passion for Downunder.

Luckily there’s a heart to the story that is drawn from the globally famous picturebook of the same name by Judith Viorst. Interestingly enough in the local paper version Alexander dreams of Timbuktu, rather than Australia.

It’s Disney, it’s school holidays, and this film makes for a friendly outing.

Don’t discount having an in-theatre experience. For instance, Wallis Piccadilly with its spacious seating and aisles, Art Deco accoutrements is just gorgeous.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is playing in cinemas across Adelaide now.

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