Hello, Spongey here.
…Yeah, there’s no X-Men 2 for awhile. I really slacked off, I had some issues doing it, and there’s was no way I was just moving it to the next review rotation. I have like 5 tie in review for June so I need to fit in as many new ones as possible before I clog myself with tie ins.
I’ll do X2 eventually, just not soon. If it helps, I got about 30 minutes of movie covered, so when I do get to it, it won’t take long. Anyway, another reason I wanted to skip X2, is that I REALLY wanted to get to the film I picked for today.
I talk about Disney stars a lot on here, but I don’t think I’ve touched upon Nickelodeon Stars. Mostly because I never discuss their live action programming (Fred aside). I don’t have much an opinion of them. Most of them are fine though I see why few of them have broken out of their shell. Compare to the Disney ones, where quite a few them have made it into the mainstream…..even if it means doing whatever the hell Miley Cryus is doing.
That brings me to the Nick star this film contains: Victoria Justice. Aside from having a name worthy of a superhero, she’s a mostly liked and well known-ish actress/singer. I won’t bore you with the details, but he’s more or less the biggest Nick star as she has actually tried to get into the mainstream, with some success.
I think she’s fine. Not the best ever, but she’s likable, decently amusing, and cute. No, she’s not hot enough for that old gag. Overall, I quite tolerate her but she has a long way to go even reach Selena Gomez’s level.
She has tried though, with slightly more mature works. One example is the upcoming MTV series, Eye Candy, which is based on a book by RL.Stine.
….Well, looks I have to keep an eye on her.
The other example is this movie. It came out, bombed, and no one remembers. But for some, including me, it was very interesting. For one, it’s a Nickelodeon Studios film that is PG-13. Yes, really. Some parents were all pissy due to this, even though it’s obviously to be targeted Young Adults, hence the damn rating.
I was kind of interested in it, as I wanted to see how both Nick and Justice handle more adult fare. Could she work okay like Selena Gomez in Spring Breakers, or work …not so well like Gomez in Getaway?
Well, it looks like it was the latter, as the film got terrible reviews due to being un-funny and unfocused. Some say the rating made it confusing as it who it’s aimed at. Now I’m really interested. Every surrounding this film made me want to review, so here we are.
Is it an underrated change of pace for Victoria, or is another mark on Nick’s ever growing list of failures? Knowing my luck, it’ll be the latter.
This, is Fun Size
The movie opens with a teen girl named Wren, played by Victoria Justice, narrating to us about Halloween. Oh drat, we’re ceblertating Summerween a bit too early. She moves to tell us about her wacky family, most notably her annoying brother Albert. Then we get this line that I would cal an out of context line if it even made sense IN Context:
“Where are my boobs?”
After…that, she talks to her Mom as we find out she is applying for College.
“Did you send in the application?”
“Afghan citizenship. Hello? College Loans”
Okay, that was funny.
As they talk, we find out that Mom wants her to go some other college as the one she picked is too expensive. It’s the college her Dead dad went to. I thought this was a Nick movie, not a Dsney movie.
Mom has been kind of weird since Dad died, and she is currently a dating a younger hot dude. Wren then walks Albert to school along with her best friend, who is talking about Halloween costumes….the sexy ones.
“Can’t you be a Kitty without being sexy?”
“…No. Being sexy is what’s gonna get us into Aaron Riley’s party tonight”
Making fun of Sexy costumes? Nice.
They meet up with their Dude friend/obvious love interest, played by the main guy from Project X, and somehow this ends with Wren rapping. The friend agrees with me on how weird it is. There’s context but would it really help?
Naturally, Wren is doing something stupid when local stud/crush that she won’t hook up with, Aaron Riley shows up. He invites her to his party and he drives off. 5 bucks says he has a bad motive behind this.
Then we get our title sequence (7 minutes in, but Wimpy Kid 2 has it beat beat out by a few) and we cut to Wren looking for a costume. She tells us Aaron always goes as the star of his favorite movie, Pirates of the Caribbean.
“Why not, they keep making sequels”
…This is now the best movie ever made.
She ultimately decides to go as Dorothy. Thankfully, it’s not Sexy Dorothy.
TAMARA: Who the fuck is turned on by Sexy Dorothy?!
No, I won’t make a comment but her making it Sexy Dorothy. Again, I don’t think of her that way as much as others.
Anyway, Mom tells Wren that she has to take care of Albert while she goes out to a party with her boyfriend. Terrible Mommy leaves and Wren is of course, upset about this turn of events.
But she still toughens it out and goes trick or treating with the friend while Albert does ….things. While in a haunted house, she loses track of Albert and now we have our Adventures in Babysitting plot.
We join Albert has he runs off to a store where he makes friends with the clerk, played by Thomas Middlenitch. After getting a visit from kids using TP as revenge for something, the clerk gets the idea to have Albert help with his own revenge plot. I should mention that Albert never talks, so that kind of helps make this sort of interesting.
To be honest, the movie isn’t so bad so far. Not good, but it’s kind of amusing in spots, and I like the sort of crazy way the plot is going. But why would a kid be helpful in a situation like this?
Albert accepts his challenge and Albert gets into his car. Yes, they lampshade how creepy that sounds. And of course, Wren and April, the friend, show up at the store RIGHT after they leave.
While there, they meet up that male friend and long story short, they go to his house so they use his truck to find Albert easily. Naturally, we need a pointless extended scene before they can get the car. Male friend (do you even care about his name?) introduces the girls to his Moms.
I did not spell that wrong. ….Yeah, this is gonna be awkward. Are they gay stereotypes? Eh….I’d say no but they are weird hippies. Is that as bad?
After that pointless bit, they get in his car and head out. Back with Albert and the clerk, they TP some house. He ends u TP-ing the wrong house and he gets beat up by the owner who is a fat guy.
Albert runs into the clerk’s guy just as it is being towed. There was Candy in the car, hence why he didn’t stop. Clerk escapes from the fat guy but now he is without his car or Albert.
Clerk bumps into Clara, the chick he was trying to TP. I think he mentioned earlier that she broke his heart, hence the revenge.
“Why should I give a crap what happens to your lame car?”
“There’s an 8 year old boy inside”
FAT GUY: That’s messed up.
Eh, that was kind of funny.
Back with Wren and pals, they get into weird contrived dumb situation I won’t recap. Long story short, the car breaks down in the middle of street, and Male Friend’s who I failed to mention, (who I call Discount Ken Jeong) pisses some jerks in the car behind them.
The pissed off jerks come out to hurt them, and they are dressed like Hulk and Thor. Well, this became a weirdly awesome movie.
Hulk, accidentally but thankfully, jump starts the car by hitting it (?) and they drive off. They escape the jerks and up at this fast food place where Albert but of course they still miss him by ending up in the drive thru.
I was ready to call that bit pointless but the jerks show up just a few minutes later for more loud Hijinks. Seriously, all the insane wacky weird stuff ends up being a bunch of dumb noise. Not too annoying but still, not fun.
Then they accidentally bump into the restaurant and the giant chicken thingy falls on the car and it looks like the chicken is humping the car.’
Discount Ken Jeong confronts Thor,and he kicks his ass. I won’t say how but it is very amazing. Thor and Hulk leave and again, it is not pointless as this is our big turning point. After all of that, Discount Chow realizes they don’t belong out here, and April finally leaves.
They drive away, hoping to find both April and Albert now. Speaking of Albert, at the fast food place, he bumped into this chick dressed as this superhero we knew he likes, and he goes with her to this party. (IDK if it’s the Aaron one or not). It makes more sense in context but again, it doesn’t matter.
This big jerk dude hits on the chick and takes Albert’s Candy. Spoilers, it doesn’t end well. We finally join Mom at that party she was it and she does not like it. She hides in this room where she finds the parents of the guy throwing it and the Dad is seen reading 50 Shades of Grey.
After some awkward stuff, we cut back to our heroes as Wren gets a call from April saying she found Albert at Aaron’s party. Yes, I was ri-wait, you ditch your best friend to go this dumb party? If it didn’t end up helping, I would so pissed right now!
So they head to the party, while Clerk and his ex arrive there and bump into that chick Albert was with, who tells them that he is here. That big jerk dude shows up and picks on Clerk, and then Albert pops up and stows away in his car as he drives way. We’ll see how this pays off.
Naturally, as soon as Albert leaves, our heroes arrive. April takes Wren to where “He” is and it turns out she was talking about Aaron, not Albert.
“I actually beelive I actually thought you found my brother”
“Really? Cuz I totatlly tried to make it sound it sound like that on purpose”
You’re this close to reaching Tucker levels of likability. Stop now. Let’s have a forced sweet scene to counter act it. Back with Mom, she’s talking to those parents about her current life and it gets weird as she talks about missing her dead husband, her son never talking to anyone, Wren wanting to leave, and all that good stuff. It works better than it sounds, and it makes sense given what we’ve seen, but chances are, it will not save this film. The actress pulls it off though.
Jorgen, the jerk dude arrives at his home and Albert jumps out of the car and bumps into the clerk. Has his name even been spoken yet? The clerk wants to help Albert get revenge on Jorgen, so they put fireworks into a burning bag of dog shit and put it on his porch.
Well….it’s an nice spin on a classic gag at least.
He gets pissed and he captures Albert. Why is that this subplot is starting to be more interesting than the main plot, even though Albert isn’t likable?
Back with our “heroes”, April talks to Male friiend’s nerd friends (Names are still for suckers). See, for reasons I have already forgteen, they made some deal and nerd dude gets to touch her boobs for 20 seconds, and he cashes it in now. He does and they both get into and we get sweet music.
Ah yeah, the heartwarming groping scene.
She cuts it off before it gets weird…er. Male friend talks to Wren and we get more “Heartwarming” stuff. Yeah, almost none of this stuff in the first half, and suddenly, it’s a drama! They talk about stuff before April cuts them off.
She apologies for the shitty stuff she has done. Well,that puts her above Tucker, at least. After that is settled, they go back into the house to hear Aaron sing a song about Wren. Yeah, he seems cool but he’s the popular guy and she just had a scene with a nerd. That mean he’s gonna be a dick.
Hell, Wren even thinks about her nerd friend during this song. Aaron asks if she loves him and if you guessed that she says no, and goes after Roosevelt (They finally said his name but it may be a nickname), then DING DING you’ve seen another movie starring teenagers. It’s cliché but….Aaron isn’t a dick about. Granted, after she leaves and announces his heart is broken, he just asks if another female at the party wants to kiss about, but that’s way less dick-ish than in most stories like this.
Considering who we are dealing with, I’m glad they took the high road on this one. Anyway, Roosevelt drives off because he’s a dick and now Wren is without a car. Dude, I know you are pissed since your lady left and the last party you went too wasn’t too good, but you have taken your lady friend’s only method of getting her brother back. Screw you!
To make things worse, Jorgen calls Wren (How did he get her number…or knew her at all?) and tells her has Albert, and he demands ransom because I don’t know. To make it even worse, Mom texts her, saying she will be home soon. And by soon, I mean literally right after Wren starts running.. Well, at least they avoided dragging that cliché out further.
So we get a “Sad” song set to Albert looking defeated, Wren running, and Mom seeing the empty house. It’s pretty overbearing to say the least. Wren gets to Jorgen’s house She doesn’t have the money so Jorgen starts calling the cops. Before he finishes his task, Wren ends up telling him about how her Dad helped on some song Jorgen likes or something, I don’t know. It gives her a change to talk about her dead Daddy again.
…And Jorgen is still gonna call the cops on Albert and Wren anyway. Well ,that was pointless. But then Clerk burst in some fireworks, in his crowning moment of awesome. They kick Jorgen’s house (well, Albert does anyway) and they leave.
“Trick or treat, bitch!”
After Clerk FINALLY reveals his name (Fuzzy), some cops show but Fuzzy distracts them by streaking. Lovely. But it does allow Wren and Albert to escape. Roosevelt goes home to his Moms, and long story short, they want him to go after his girl.
And of course Wren calls him at that very moment to tell him she found Albert, and she thanks him for his help. Yeah, she’s okay with him leaving for a dumb reason cuz derp. Let’s wash that stupid down with some forced emotion!
Wren and Albert visit Dad’s grave and she gives us some narration about how happy Albert was when he trick of treated with him. This kind of works but ugh, that music ruins it. Also, Albert speaks.
Oh hey, a moment with Albert and Wren. For a film about them, it never seemed about their actual representation until now. Anyway, the film does a poor job of telling us this next part, but here is what I gathered: Mom conveniently shows up and takes them home, and then she steps up to the house with Wren out of sight, so so Roosevelt can try to stop her from getting in not knowing that Mom knows what happened. This is so he can profess his love for Wren t the end of a legthy speech he he has. Quite contrived indeed. I guess I like not having a big scene with Wren having to explain this to Mom, but the opposite is not any better.
Mom gives the two a moment alone and of course, they kiss. Yay for forced romance #4565. Also, we that April hooked up with the nerd friend cuz a slapped on joke like that gives April a reason for being in this movie since she has no porpuse at this point.
That bit, along with other things, are set to another stupid song. To cap it off, Fuzzy hooks up with Denise, that chick was with at the party. Yes, every little thing needs to be resolved cuz having tons of “subplots” with very little to most of them makes your film complex, right?
Mom finally signs that college application for Wren, showing her of so complex devolpment. At least they tried, but insert Star Wars clip. Also, still no bit with Wren and Mom talking? She’s just gonna forgot about all the shit Albert got her into? I mean, if he hadn’t run off like a brat, chances are he wouldn’t have been captured in the first lace!
Speaking of which, Albert posts this embarrassing clip of Wren on her facebook. Wow, he hasn’t learned anything. Screw you, kid! April, having seen the clip, calls her up and tells her about it.’
“Everything we worked for last night was ruined”
Which means Albert and Wren’s development is ruined. Yay!
By the way, let me tell you said clip: It’s a weird remix of that rap bit from earlier. Not sure he it got recorded but okay,
Roll credit. Somehow the ending is abrupt, drawn out, and pointing ruining at the same time. Bravo movie, I don’t think you could do it. Also, drawn out weird thing with Albert prank calling Mom and Wren to pad out the run time so it reaches 80 minutes. We’re done here.
HEFFER: Eh, it was okay.
My thoughts exactly.
It’s better than I heard it was, and I even enjoyed parts of it. But of course, it ain’t so good either. I can kind of see what people meant when they bitched about the tone and the rating, but I can kind of defend it.
This is very much the kind of thing Victoria Justice usually does. It’s kind of Dan Schneider -ish, just with more swearing and adult references. Just watch one episode of Victorious and you will see why it had a Crap past the radar page ….6 episodes in. You’ll see my point.
Remember my whole spiel about teen stuff in my Morganville Vampires tribute? Yeah, this is pretty much a teen flick complete with the kind of stuff teens see often. I think the critics mean that it has some of the stuff you’d see in a tween Nick show, but to them it clashes with the harder stuff. I sort of agree but I do see what they are going for, and thus I feel this is exactly the kind of thing Justice usually does, just slightly more adult.
But let’s pretended some nobody made this and look at the film as a whole. It’s meh. I can’t even muster up special hate for certain elements. As a whole, it’s just weak. The main problem is that it tries way too hard to tug at your heart strings. The moment themselves almost work, showing off some neat stuff for a film starring a tween idol, but the writing is just too sloppy for me to get into it.
The main character is pretty dull, but she’s the most likable character due to Victoria Justice’ performance. She’s pretty good, proving to be quite likable at parts. She pretty much saves the film for me. The other characters are just meh.
Albert is sometimes annoying due to his antics but at other times he’s kind of cool. But all that goes downhill with that stupid ending which makes him unlikable and undermines the entire film.
April switches between tolerable and an unlikable bitch. She’s the “sassy best friend” and she can be grating at points. Thankfully, she redeems herself, though she is still dull and pointless. Rossevelt is mostly tolerable but bland until that huge dick moment. But like April he fixes himself, even if it leads a cliché moment.
The romance is far from horrible, but it is pretty forced in the end. They have okay chemistry though. Mom is just there to be the Mom but she did have some awesome bits during that scene with her and Rose which I glanced over for time reasons. She’s okay.
The characters switch between unlikable and tolerable, except for Wren who stays on “Eh” until the very end. I rather like the whole thing the movie is going for, with this big wacky situation where tons of stuff happens, and sometimes it works to an extent.
But in the end, it becomes muddled. I was sort of interested in Fuzzy’s subplot, but he himself was weak and pointless. Everything was just muddled in the end, and even the whole thing with the dead Dad didn’t pay off in the end. I guess they wanted to “subtle” about it, but with how it’s written, it comes across as lazy.
It’s not BAD, because it’s rarely annoying when it comes to the comedy itself. At least not as much as people say. I 100 percent see what it was trying to do, and I can see they they honestly tried to make something passable here, but overall, it’s just underwhelming.
Nick’s decision to do a film akin to this wasn’t a bad one, (better than some of their other decisions lately), so is Victoria’s decision to sign on to this. But it doesn’t gel together. It’s very average, and I think only the tweens who watch Justice’s main show will get a kick out of it.
Wow, 2 C’s in a row. That’s interesting. By the way, Justice has two TV movies on Nick prior to this, and yes, I will review both someday. For now, she just has this.