Paul Magne Haakonsen
"Fun Size" is a fun movie if you are a kid or a young teenager. However, the fun starts to wear off once you get out of your teens and watch this movie. Yeah, this is first and foremost a movie for the younger audience.The story is about Wren (played by Victoria Justice) whose Halloween plans becomes complicated and the evening turns out entirely different from what she had planned. Not only doesn't she get to hang out with the cool guy from school at a party, but she also loses her younger brother and end up having to run from two bullies chasing her and her friends in their car.Overall, then for a young audience, then "Fun Size" does have its laughs and moments. But being out of the target audience age group, the movie wasn't all that enjoyable for me. Now, I am not saying that the movie is bad, far from it. It just appeals to a certain group in the audience.Actually the performances put on in the movie were quite good, and people were doing good jobs with their given roles. Lots of good chemistry between the various people and their characters.Fun for those younger viewers, and I am sure that this is something great to watch for that particular age group. The movie sort of have that early Lindsay Lohan touch to it when she was around 10 years of age and making these particular kind of movies. So if you enjoy light comedies, then dinner is served...
After reading the reviews on IMDb, I was hesitant to watch the movie. I love every single actor or actress in the film, so I didn't understand why I was so nervous to order it off iO; however, I did it anyway, with the slight hope I'd get a really cool movie.Am I glad that I ordered it. I watched the movie with my younger sister, 12, and I'm 16, and we both fell in love with this movie. I get that the whole Nickelodeon-distribution thing is a bit weird for a movie that has some teenage elements involved. But, I don't think that such a trivial concern should make the move suddenly "terrible" - and here are the reasons why.First off, there was not a boring moment in the film. Yeah, it was short, but I'd rather be left wanting more than being in a situation where I'm itching for it to end. It was short and sweet, and that was a good thing.Secondly, each character was a different manifestation of high school: geeky, innocent, desperate, misunderstood. It was, to someone in high school, refreshing to see such existent stereotypes be brought to the screen.Thirdly, the acting by each of the performers showcasing such stereotypes was genius. Victoria Justice fit the role perfectly, and showed the final need to move on from her past in an innocent yet heartfelt way. Jane Levy proved to both of us that she has a long career ahead of her, and spectacularly nails her role as the hungry-to-be-cool yet compassionate April. Thomas Mann, playing Roosevelt, shows off nerdy without overkill, and makes the audience root for him as the movie goes on. Chelsea Handler - Wren's mom - also nails her role, and makes us teenagers see that there will always be a time to grow up; her acting was really great in this!Lastly, the music. The music was hip yet appropriate for the film's climactic moments, and groups like Sleeping At Last and Milo Greene orchestrate a perfect underscore to the coming- of-age film. It really puts the audience member into the situation - the crazy, adventurous, journey, for that matter.For all of these reasons combined, I urge people to give this film the proper attention it deserves without judging it as a risky Nickelodeon move. Yeah, they cursed a few times, and some "older" subjects were discussed, but as my 12 year old sister can support, "I've heard worse."
Nickelodeon Movies made a gamble with Fun Size which, while it wasn't as successful as I'm sure they wanted it to be, has nonetheless made the company seem like more risk-takers than, I believe, the public thought they were. Despite baring the name of a popular kids' TV channel, most of their projects have been uphill marketing battles attempting to acquaint the public with different plots and new characters that weren't introduced on their networks. There have been a number of films banking off their own characters, but Nickelodeon Movies doesn't play it safe when it comes to making family comedies or dramas. They stray from the nest and that's an honorable thing.However, one must expect when a company does what Nickelodeon Movies is doing, the result is all over the place. Fun Size, their second PG-13 film, attempting to usher in a more tween/teen fanbase (I suppose), is the company's latest film. It merges the likes of John Hughes-style teen comedies and Adventures in Babysitting schtick to create a relatively harmless (at least by the company's program-standards) but ultimately forgettable endeavor in the formula of misunderstandings and chaotic mishaps. This is, yes, another entry in the tired genre I call, "maximum antics, minimum laughter," a film that has so many different setups and quirky events that it forgets to make them funny and entertaining.Our story concerns unpopular high school teen Wren DeSantis (Victoria Justice - take one look at her and you know that in no American high school would she be unpopular), who lives with her irresponsible mother (Chelsea Handler) and her psychotic deviant of a brother named Albert (Jackson Nicoll) in a classic suburbia setting. It's Halloween, which is, of course, the holiday Wren's town goes crazy trying to celebrate, and her and her friend April (Jane Levy) are invited to Aaron Riley's (Thomas McDonell) Halloween party where he might, just might, sing a song in Wren's honor. She is lovestruck.Yet, the same night, Wren's mother is going out with her much younger boyfriend and leaves Wren in charge of Albert. Her and Wren reluctantly take Albert trick-or-treating, but not long after, he goes missing in the huge town of Cleveland, Ohio and this leaves the two friends confused and without a clue. That sweet-talk the hell out of their nerdy classmates Roosevelt (Thomas Mann) and Peng (Osric Chau) to give them a ride to help them look all over town to find the little tike and, as you imagine, trouble of unprecedented caliber ensues.Victoria Justice, who is gifted here as a conflicted teenager, has unfortunately been placed in the center of the mediocre teen-sitcom Victorious, which airs daily on Nickelodeon. The show is one of the many programs targeted towards kids that features smiley teen faces reciting poorly written lines that are foreign to the way high-schoolers truly behave. They treat emotional resonance as the lowest form of sympathy, human interest as an unheard-of concept, and humor as a non-existent device. One thing Fun Size capitalizes off of is cursing, which for a Nickelodeon-billed movie, is quite an accomplishment. It's definitely significant, and provides the film with a bit more realism with the way teenagers talk and communicate than shows like Victorious or movies like Prom willfully neglect. I'm not saying in order for a teen film to be realistic and be successful is to welcome cursing (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a wonderfully poetic and immensely successful film concerning the lives of three outcasts, worked well without swearing more than a few times), but when you see teenagers calling each other "nubs," "geeks," or use phrases like "nerd juice," do you see reality or an augmented version of it? While Justice's capabilities as an actress stand out, most of the film is on autopilot and most of the characters are remarkably unremarkable. Albert, who utters only two words in the entire runtime of the film for reasons never explained, is a brat; not a character to sympathize with at all, but one to unsympathetically put in an institution. His misbehaving acts, incredibly hyperactive attitude, and schematic tendencies do not show us likability in any way, shape, or form. Wren's friend April, another self-indulgent character, only upset about the fact that she is missing the party being thrown by the hottest kid in school, is not even remotely likable, either, and Roosevelt and Peng are simply love-interests and helpful nerds that come in the nick of time.This is director Josh Schwartz's first motion picture after quite a resume of primetime cable programs, none of which I've seen. There's a competence to his work, but it isn't significant enough to distinguish from the other films of similar style we've been bombarded with over the years. Writer Max Werner pleasantly evokes realism through dialog, yet relationships are shortchanged in the long run for continuous idiocy. The other big issue I can find with Fun Size is that it's demographically confused. It's a tad too adult for kids under ten and eleven, and those over fourteen are a little "too old" for this kind of material. Much like Prom, there's a strange lack of a demographic here, that always seems to young or too old.Fun Size, also, features one of the most immature, juvenile, and off-putting movie endings in quite sometime, which shows the darkside of Albert, as if his personality already wasn't dark enough. In the long run, like a "fun size" candy-bar, it's sweet, easy to swallow, but not memorable after, say, half an hour. It provides spry, quick-witted closure for those brave enough to seek it. There's not too much wrong with that.Starring: Victoria Justice, Jane Levy, Thomas Mann, Osric Chau, Thomas McDonell, and Chelsea Handler. Directed by: Josh Schwartz.