Fun Size | Movie Review
Many people can relate on some level to being a teen wanting to go out with friends but can’t because your mom makes you stay in and babysit your little brother. This is what happens on Halloween Night in Fun Size, only it adds Murphy’s Law:
Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
I’m familiar with Victoria Justice’s work on the Nickelodeon show Victorious, so I was rooting for a successful transition into more adult roles. It’s a cute idea for a Halloween movie, but unfortunately it doesn’t deliver. The movie struggles with an identity crisis about its audience while the actors fail to deliver.
Wren (Victoria Justice) is a senior in high school with her eyes on attending NYU after graduating. Albert (Jackson Nicoll) is her mischievous little brother who hasn’t spoken since their father’s passing. Joy (Chelsea Handler) is their mother who is dealing with the loss of her husband by dating a much younger man, Keevin (Josh Pence). High school heartthrob Aaron Riley (Thomas McDonell) invites Wren to his annual Halloween party. She has every intention to go with her best friend April (Jane Levy), but just as she is about to head out of the door, Joy informs Wren that she’s going to a party with Keevin, forcing Wren (and April) to take Albert trick-or-treating. This doesn’t sound too bad, until they lose Albert.
Fortunately, they run into two of their less-than-cool classmates Roosevelt (Thomas Mann) and Peng (Osric Chau). Because Roosevelt has a crush on Wren and Peng is high on hormones, they are willing to do just about anything to help the girls out. They spend the bulk of the movie running into a string of unfortunate events while looking for Albert. Meanwhile, Albert is having his own adventure. When he stops in the convenience store to get some treats, clerk Fuzzy (Thomas Middleditch) decides to get revenge on his ex-girlfriend and recruits Albert as a sidekick. As expected, things don’t go according to plan in this movie’s subplot.
Each of the main and secondary characters have very defined and stereotypical personalities. Wren is concerned mostly about her education and women’s lib. Albert is the typical annoying yet adorable little brother who always has a new trick to execute. April wants nothing more than to be popular, even if it means ditching her friends. Roosevelt is the charming nerd who has a crush on the pretty girl. And so on. As with any teen movie there is a love triangle, albeit a weak one, between Wren, Aaron and Roosevelt. We don’t really get enough of Aaron to understand that there is a love triangle at all because he’s only in the one scene in the beginning. We see no evidence to validate the claims that he is indeed the most popular guy in school that many girls crush on until the end. In the meantime, poor nerdy Roosevelt is willing to risk his life to help the girl he has an apparent crush on, but his and Wren’s relationship is not developed enough to understand his feelings toward her.
The movie was written by Max Werner, a writer for The Colbert Report. Here we have a talented television writer stepping outside of their element to write a kids movie. Werner is used to writing for quick adult laughs, but that doesn’t translate well when trying to write a movie for teens. The problem was also that the decent dialogue was met with bad acting. We feel awkward as audience members because we can almost physically feel the poor delivery.
During the movie, Albert spends most of his time with adults he doesn’t know in settings he shouldn’t be in, such as parties and creepy houses. That is strange. Why don’t any of the adults call the police? The appeal to adults was as unsuccessful as it was unnecessary. The movie is trying to appeal to the largest audience possible, and what larger audience is there than kids, teens, AND adults? The problem is that it doesn’t work for either extreme. It’s too crude for young kids to see with the abundance of innuendo and sexual references, and it’s too childish for an adult to watch willingly.
This movie is a great example of a movie with a fun concept and a weak delivery. The script was decent, but a lot of the actors failed to give lines the extra push for the laugh. The movie also tries too hard to appeal to both kids and adults, and that was a mistake, as it’s too “grown-up” for kids and too silly for adults. This isn’t really a movie a teen is going to want to watch with their parents either, so I’m not sure why there’s a need for the adult appeal. Overall, it’s a decent enough movie for teens to see when they’re out with their friends.