Teen movie director's wacky adventure a wobbly debutMovies
Fun Size - Trailer
Wren's plan to attend a huge Halloween party thrown by the guy she likes goes awry when she's put in charge of her oddball little brother.PT2M17S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-26b3j 620 349 September 21, 2012
WITH the release of the dire Fun Size in the same week as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, American teen movies may have hit an all-time low.
Directed by Josh Schwartz, the TV wunderkind behind The O.C. and Gossip Girl, this Nickelodeon comedy aspires to be a girl's version of Superbad or American Graffiti, launching its characters on a series of wacky adventures over the course of one crazy night.
Party time: Johnny Knoxville and Riki Lindhome in Fun Size.
The night in question is Halloween and our heroines are Wren (Victoria Justice) and her friend April (Jane Levy), who are forced to go trick-or-treating with Wren's mute younger brother (Jackson Nicoll) before they can head for a supposedly cool party.
With a firmer hand at the controls, Fun Size might have worked. The adult cast includes such welcome presences as Johnny Knoxville and Ana Gasteyer, and the script by Colbert Report writer Max Werner has some funny lines.
But Schwartz, who has never directed anything before, seems way out of his depth. Visually, he's tripped up by minor challenges such as figuring out how to include performers of different heights in the same shot. Justice resembles a mannequin, while Levy tries to make up for her co-star's stiffness by mugging relentlessly.
The tone wobbles all over the place: I'm still trying to decide if a climactic speech about Wren's late father and his connection with the Beastie Boys is a deliberately absurd non sequitur, or if we're meant to be genuinely moved. Either way, it doesn't come off.