Cinema Review – Fun Size

Wren (Victoria Justice) is invited to a Hallowe’en party by her crush Aaron Riley (Thomas McDonell) but her mother (Chelsea Handler) wants her to take her younger brother trick or treating. As the siblings take on a Haunted House, Albert (Jackson Nicoll) goes missing, and Wren must recruit her friends to help her find him.

Sometimes a movie comes along that is so bad, off track and pointless that you simply have to wonder why the film was made in the first place. Sadly, Fun Size is one of those movies.

So little time is spent on developing the characters in the film that you would be forgiven for thinking that this is a spin off from a TV show. This is not the case; the characters are really that thinly yet broadly painted.

As Wren, Victoria Justice gets to play the pretty, tragic teenager. Wren’s father died recently and she has taken to wearing his jacket, presumably to remember him by, although this is never really said. Wren seems fairly well adjusted for a teenage girl who has just lost a parent and, while Justice does her best to make the character likeable, there is very little scope for this as Wren makes one selfish and inexplicable decision after another. Jane Levy plays April as a selfish and superficial character who is supposed to be Wren’s friend but fails her at every turn.

Jackson Nicoll as Wren’s younger brother fares a little better, at least he has something of a personality and the fact that he does not talk – and has not talked in a year – gives a hint toward the anguish that this child must feel at the loss of a parent. That is, until the closing credits, where it is revealed that Albert’s silence is nothing more than a prank on his already troubled mother.

Speaking of the kids’ mother, Chelsea Handler plays the character, and does what she can with the role, but Handler’s decision to take the role is confusing. Handler has a successful career as an actress, comedian and author, and why she should feel it is prudent for her to take a role as a woman who dresses up as Britney Spears and is probably in the middle of a life crisis is almost unfathomable. Joy is a woman who is obviously struggling to come to terms with the death of her husband, but instead of dealing with it, she dates a younger man and runs from her problems.

Oh and Johnny Knoxville is in there as well.

While writing this review, it has become clear that Fun Size is supposed to be about a family reuniting after they have been shattered by the loss of a father and husband. If the film had actually dealt with any of the issues this loss has raised, it could well be a thoughtful and endearing piece of work. Instead, as it stands, Gossip Girl creator Josh Schwartz has made a film full of horrible characters that are unrelatable and selfish. The film talks down to its audience and forgets that kids, while small and innocent, are not stupid and because of this the jokes fall flat.

Fun Size is supposed to be fun, but it is not. There are sex jokes aimed at young kids – which is slightly concerning – selfish characters and a complete absence of fun. This film falls flat through underdeveloped characters and underestimating its audience. Avoid.

Rating: 1/5

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