Film Review : Fun Size
● By Justin Buettner
Wren has been forced to grow up quick after the death of her father. Her mother Joy found herself a twenty something boyfriend and is an absentee parent leaving Wren to care for her little brother Albert who no longer speaks since his Father's death. While taking her brother trick or treating Wren loses Albert in the fray and spends the night with her friends trying to locate her brother before her mother comes home from her Halloween party.
Fun Size is one of those movies that I really don't know who it was made for. It stars several actors from popular Nickelodeon sitcoms made for younger viewers, an audience that is not quite old enough to see this movie with its party antics and PG-13 rating. In fact Fun Size crams several serious themes into the story including the loss of a parent and the emotional scars that go along with that. Curiously the movie seems gleefully unaware of the seriousness of the issues it’s dealing with and inappropriately throws in several instances of gross out humor that is neither funny or fits.
Screenwriter Max Werner, who's previous writing work is limited to the Colbert Report, is all over the map with this story. Considering the emotionally scarred characters the movie employs it is easy to see how this movie could have been a great drama about a fractured family dealing with the loss of a loved one. It may have made a humorous teenage coming of age, party, comedy if the movie removed the weighty emotional issues and actually had funny jokes. The comedy and the drama did not mix well at all though and the bad writing did not help matters.
First time director Josh Schwartz who was an active producer of the television show Chuck, which I liked a lot, has a lot to learn as a director. He lacks a good feel for comic timing. Additionally Schwartz did not add weight to emotional areas where it needed it. Lastly the style was just flat. It had no discernible flair to set it apart from a low budget sitcom. I know this is supposed to be a teenage comedy, but you can tell from the copy cat feel this movie desperately wanted to be Adventures in Babysitting for a modern audience and it fails miserably.
The star of Victorious, Victoria Justice, is set up to fail in this film. She is dressed up to look cool but asked to be a dork, which she is completely unbelievable at doing. Not only that, she is asked to be the smartest character in the film while doing anything but being intelligent in her actions. She did her best with a terribly written character that I doubt any actor could have done much with. Most of the other supporting characters are completely unlikable which is due to the writing as much as the performances. Couldn’t the movie see fit to write a few more likable or fun characters in this movie, it took place on Halloween after all?
Unfortunately Fun Size is a movie that will just make your head scratch who thought it was a good idea. If the joke isn’t inappropriate for making light of truly sad situations it makes jokes that are completely inappropriate for the age group the movie should be targeting. As a parent you will cringe and as a 10 year old you may giggle from time to time, but you will not walk away happy. And by the way Victorious does not sing in the movie, in case you young fans were wondering. I truly was hoping to see a happy funny teenage comedy and Fun Size served up a bad mix of horrible characters and terrible comedy trapped in a fairly sad dramatic plot. In short it is not much fun.
Films like Fun Size : Adventures in Babysitting; Judy Moody, and Prom
Justin Buettner is Style's resident movie dude! How did he get this role? Well, he graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Bachelor of Arts in film Production and a duel minor in Animation and Business with an emphasis in the entertainment field. He later went on to work on several independent films in various key roles including writer and later worked in the special effects field as a motion capture artist. He has since relocated to the Sacramento area with his family and continues writing for small independent films in addition to his movie reviews for Style Magazine.