Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a 2014 American family comedy film directed by Miguel Arteta from a screenplay written by Rob Lieber. The film stars Ed Oxenbould, Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Dylan Minnette, and Kerris Dorsey, and is based on Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz's 1972 children's book of the same name.
Co-produced by Shawn Levy and Lisa Henson for Walt Disney Pictures through their respective production companies, 21 Laps Entertainment and The Jim Henson Company, the film was released in North America on October 10, 2014. The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics and was a box office success, grossing $100 million worldwide against a $28 million budget.
The film follows the exploits of Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould), an ordinary 11-year-old boy, and his "terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day." He is left out by his family; his older brother, Anthony (Dylan Minnette), his older sister, Emily (Kerris Dorsey), his mother, Kelly (Jennifer Garner), his father, Ben (Steve Carell), and his baby brother, Trevor (Elise/Zoey Vargas).
The day before Alexander's twelfth birthday, he wakes up and finds gum in his hair and clips it off with a pair of scissors. Anthony is trying to earn his driver's license so he can drive his girlfriend, Celia (Bella Thorne), to the prom, Emily is rehearsing for the title role in her school play of Peter Pan, Kelly is working for a publication company that is publishing a new children's book, and Ben, who has been unemployed for several months, has landed a job interview as a game designer for a video game company.
That same morning, Alexander attends school where he experiences another series of misfortunes, as well as finding out that his friends, including his crush, Becky Gibson (Sidney Fullmer), and best friend, Paul (Mekai Matthew Curtis), will all be attending the birthday party of Phillip Parker (Lincoln Melcher) instead of his, due to Philip's expensive party entertainment and popularity. He tries to tell his family how miserably his day has gone, but none of them even listen to what he says. That evening, Anthony upsets Celia during a phone call while yelling at Alexander saying he is an "idiot brother", and Emily rehearses her stage lines in Kelly's Volvo while leaving its light on. Alexander makes himself a makeshift birthday sundae and wishes his family could experience the disappointments he does every day.
The next morning, Alexander wakes up to find his family in disarray and chaos erupts; his parents have overslept, Emily has a cold, and Anthony has found out that he and Celia broke up. The battery in Kelly's car is dead, because Emily left its light on all evening long while rehearsing, therefore Ben has to take Trevor with him to the interview after dropping Kelly off at work. At school, Paul gives Alexander good news: Philip has cancelled his birthday party due to illness, and calls his father, asking him to plan a party for him. Kelly is informed of an embarrassing typo in the book they are publicizing, and needs to stop Dick Van Dyke from reading it at public reading later. Ben takes Trevor along to the office interview and meets Greg (Donald Glover) who seems impressed at his credentials, although they decide to hold another meeting after Trevor ingests a highlighter. Meanwhile at school, Anthony finds out that Celia has come back with him. Anthony is so happy about what happened, that he jumps up and accidentally slaps a banner which is held up by two trophy display cases between him, causing them to fall and smash, leading to his teacher taking him to the principal's office and suspending him.
Kelly manages to arrive at Dick Van Dyke's reading, but she is too late to warn him of the book's typo. He reads it with the inappropriate material, humiliating himself and the publishing company. Ben has purchased cough syrup for Emily's worsening symptoms and takes Anthony to the Department of Motor Vehicles, where his driving instructor intentionally distracts him, causing him to destroy several parking meters, badly damage the family minivan, and fail his driving exam. Alexander confesses that the family's day was jinxed because of his ill wishes the night before, and apologizes, but Ben says "Apology not accepted" because they can still have some good in it. Alexanders got the worse sounds: Aired from The Golden Girls: Touchstone Television, Buena Vista Television, & Chrysler Town & Country Van. He will go to the tuxedo store: Alexender has an emit Touchstone Television & Buena Vista Television, Afterwards, they all go to Emily's play, which is inadvertently sabotaged by her impaired behavior due to her getting excessively drunk after overdosing on the cough syrup. Emily as Tinker Bell, Dad as Captain Hook, and Anthony as Peter Pan. Emily as Tinker Bell for the Disney Fairies. Miss. Bell vomits on his shirt. It was Willy Wonka-like clothes. Afterwards, the game design firm calls Ben and asks him to meet them at an authentic Japanese hibachi restaurant called Nagamaki for another meeting. The family, joined by Celia, goes to the restaurant in their badly damaged minivan, where Ben accidentally sets his shirt on fire at the grill, embarrassing him to the employers. The whole family consoles him, admitting that they will overcome whatever else the day has in store for them. Alexander states, "You just gotta have the bad days so you can love the good days even more", and Anthony suddenly decides not to go to the prom with Celia, stating that his family is more important and they also break up completely. Evrybody does have many more stops til at night: Alexander's ears are Star Trek The Next Generation transporter, and The Pool Place fanfare.
The family returns home, and discover that Ben had hired a rental animal service to recreate an Australian petting zoo for Alexander's birthday party. They then decide to pitch in to try and salvage the day by helping host it. Ben and Kelly receive good news: he got hired for the game design job, and she has been informed that the celebrity reading went viral and has created publicity for the book. Reunited, Ben then brings out the cake, with Alexander wishing for more days like the one they shared together.
- Ed Oxenbould as Alexander
- Steve Carell as Ben
- Jennifer Garner as Kelly
- Dylan Minnette as Anthony
- Kerris Dorsey as Emily
- Elise Vargas/Zoey Vargas as Trevor
- Sidney Fullmer as Becky Gibson
- Bella Thorne as Celia
- Donald Glover as Greg
- Joel Johnstone as Logan
- Ben Greene as Joaquin
- Megan Mullally as Nina
- Jennifer Coolidge as Ms. Suggs
- Lincoln Melcher as Phillip Parker
- Dick Van Dyke as Himself
- Mekai Matthew Curtis as Paul
- Mary Mouser as Audrey Gibson
In 2011, it was reported that 20th Century Fox had plans to make a live action film adaptation of the book. Written by Lisa Cholodenko and Rob Lieber, the film was set to be directed by Cholodenko, and produced by Shawn Levy with Dan Levine for Levy's 21 Laps, and Lisa Henson with Jason Lust for The Jim Henson Company. Steve Carell has joined in April 2012, to star as Ben, Alexander's dad. In October 2012, Walt Disney Pictures has picked up the project, reportedly due to Fox being "uncomfortable with the budget." In February 2013, Deadline reported that Cholodenko has left the project, and a month later, that Miguel Arteta was in talks with Disney to replace Cholodenko. In April 2013, Jennifer Garner was in talks to play Alexander's mom. In June 2013, The Walt Disney Studios set the release date for October 10, 2014, and confirmed that Carell and Garner will play Alexander's parents. The same month, Disney casted Ed Oxenbould as Alexander. In July 2013, Shake It Up star Bella Thorne was cast in the film as Alexander's older brother's girlfriend. Joel Johnstone, Megan Mullally, and Jennifer Coolidge joined the cast a month later.
Principal photography and production began in August 2013. The film will be entirely shot in the Los Angeles area, including the cities of Pasadena and Arcadia, the San Fernando Valley, and Melody Ranch in Newhall. Filming lasted through October 2013.
The film officially premiered at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on October 6, 2014, being released fully on October 10th.
- Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day was released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray on February 10, 2015.
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