Fun Size movie review: A nod to John Hughes
It’s unusual for a Halloween movie to be a comedy, but this October flick trades in ghosts and goblins for a teen Halloween experience that hits closer to home. Chelsea Handler and Nickelodeon’s Victoria Justice team up as an off-beat mother and daughter duo in this holiday treat.
3 stars: Perfect for fans of 1980s teen flicks
Meet Wren (Victoria Justice): She’s 17, desperate to go off to college, and hates baby-sitting her peculiar, 8-year-old brother who’s been mute since the death of their father a year ago. When her mom Joy (Chelsea Handler) saddles Wren with her brother on the biggest party night of the year, Wren and her sexy BFF April (Jane Levy) bemoan their lousy fate. But when they accidentally lose aloof Albert (Jackson Nicoll) amidst trick-or-treating traffic, they spend All Hallow’s Eve searching for the little boy.
Joy, who’s still grieving for her husband, is now dating a 22-year-old dude called Keevin (not Kevin, not Steven, but Keevin) who likes to party with other 22-year-old dudes. Joy seems to be partially aware that she’s acting out, but isn’t allowing her daughter the same amount of latitude.
Wren is a good girl, nerdy at heart and likes the attention from high school heartthrob Aaron Riley (Thomas McDonell), but isn’t ready to live in the spotlight of the popular crowd. April however is desperate to hang with the cool kids and tricks Wren into thinking her baby bro’s been spotted at Aaron’s house party.
But little Albert has a serious candy fixation and hitches rides with other adult Halloweeners so he can spend the evening indulging in Halloween excess. Albert is sort of an 8-year-old Ferris Bueller and today is his day off. In fact, Albert is the funniest character in the movie, garnering the most laughs. Because he doesn’t speak, all his comedy comes from physical humor; this kid has a gift. No doubt we’ll be seeing more from him.
While Victoria Justice is sweet and capable, she’s no Molly Ringwald when it comes to having that “it girl” quality. Chelsea Handler makes a fantastic complicated mom, showing her funny and serious side in this movie.