Fun Size (tbc)

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Review byMatthew Turner5/11/2012

One out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Despite a likeable cast and a director with a strong background in teen fare, this is a disappointing comedy that falls down thanks to an uneven tone, some badly misjudged jokes, a failure to connect on an emotional level and a script that largely wastes the talents of its proven comic cast.

What's it all about?
Directed by Josh Schwartz, Fun Size is set at Halloween and stars Victoria Justice as Wren, an Ohio teenager who's excited to receive an invitation to the party of the year, hosted by school hottie Aaron Riley (Thomas McDonell). However, just as she's getting ready to leave, her single mother Joy (Chelsea Handler) informs her that she's going to a party of her own and that Wren has to look after her eight year old brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll), who hasn't spoken since their father died.

Needless to say, neither Wren nor her best friend April (Suburgatory's Jane Levy) are happy about having to forego the party, but things quickly go from bad to worse when they lose Albert while out trick-or-treating, leaving the girls to enlist the services of smitten nerds Roosevelt and Peng (Thomas Mann and Osric Chau) to drive them around and help them find Albert before Joy gets home. Meanwhile, Albert embarks on an adventure of his own, helping quirky convenience-store employee Fuzzy (Thomas Middleditch) get revenge on his ex- girlfriend.

The Bad
Justice makes an appealing lead and both Levy and Handler are proven comic talents, but the choppy and poorly thought-out script completely fails to give them anything interesting or funny to do; worse, the trailer makes it look like the film will centre on the friendship between Justice and Levy, but the latter is actually offscreen for a large amount of time, while Handler's sub-plot (going to a twenty-something party with her toyboy boyfriend) is almost completely ignored by the trailer.

Similarly, while Mann acquits himself nicely as nice-guy Roosevelt (if this was the John Hughes movie it desperately wants to be, he'd be played by Anthony Michael Hall), Chau's character is an embarrassing stereotype who's hardly even given any lines.

Schwartz (The O.C., Gossip Girl) has a strong background in teen fare, but his affinity for this sort of thing seems to have deserted him here. It also doesn't help that the tone of the film is all over the place, while, for a Nickelodeon movie, there are an unfortunate number of borderline paedophilia jokes.

The Worse
The film's biggest problem is that it simply isn't funny, with joke after joke falling horribly flat. On top of that, the script also fails to establish any real connection between Wren and Riley, so her relationship sub-plot lacks both surprise and emotional weight.

Worth seeing?
Fun Size is a poorly written, laugh-free teen comedy that's doubly disappointing given the pedigree of the people involved. Warning: it's also screening with a dreadful four minute pre-opening credits music video by Carly Rae Jepsen.

Film Trailer

Fun Size (tbc)
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Content updated: 18/12/2014 08:55
 

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