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Fun Size

Fun Size

Released 29 October 2012
Director Josh Schwartz
Starring

Victoria Justice, Johnny Knoxville, Chelsea Handler
Writer(s) Max Werner
Producer(s)


Brad Dorros, David Kanter, Stephanie Savage, Josh Schwartz
Origin United States
Running Time 90 minutes
Genre Comedy
Rating 12A
15

The opposite of Fun.

When unpopular high school kid Wren (Victoria Justice) is invited to a Halloween party by the popular boy of her dreams, she can’t believe her luck. But just as she begins to plan the night of her life, her mother reminds Wren that she must take her little brother Albert trick or treating. And of course Albert has an incredible knack for mischief, and runs off at the first opportunity.

What follows is an awkward string of bizarre scenarios as Wren and her mismatched group of walking clichés try to track down her missing brother and still make it to the party on time.

Fun Size is badly written, badly directed and badly acted. It contains pretty much every clichéd character and scenario from every high school movie ever. Even the connection to the fact that it takes place at Halloween is incredibly tenuous, and bar the fact that the characters are all dressed as facile pop culture references the film could be taking place at any time of the year.

Towards the end Johnny Knoxville pops up in a small role that is so awful that it makes all his previous film performances look award winning in comparison. You might almost wonder if starring in Fun Size is some new form of physical torture he is putting himself through for a new Jackass film.

Fans of The O.C. may recognise the name of director Josh Schwartz, who created The O.C, and more recently Gossip Girl. Unfortunately fans of The O.C. will be even more disappointed by Fun Size than the rest of the audience. The film is horribly unbalanced, and when it tries to juggle a number of conflicting plot elements to please a wide audience it falls flat on its face.

Part of this is due to the clear confusion about who Fun Size is aimed at. It is produced by Nickelodeon and looks at first glance like an inoffensive family drama. But Fun Size soon takes a turn for the bizarre. Wren and her friends’ attempts to make it to the party on time plays like a PG13 Superbad, and the frequently bawdy and crude humour will have a lot of its audience squirming in their seats. If it does manage to attract the older audience who actually get all the innuendos, they’ll be bored by the childishness of everything else that happens.

Fun Size is the kind of film that appeals to absolutely nobody. There is one particular scene where a giant mechanical chicken humps the back end of a station wagon (seriously). At this moment I realised that I had never been more confused by what a film is trying to do, and equally had never felt a greater desire to walk out of a film. But I stayed, and was treated to such gems as a scene where the main character literally explains the moment of emotional climax as it happens in an annoying voiceover and a horrible gag reel that plays before the credits that genuinely felt like torture.

Please don’t make this reviewer’s sacrifice of his time and possibly his remaining sanity have been for nothing. Do not go see Fun Size. Seriously, just don’t.

- Bernard O’Rourke