Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Quick Cut Review - "Fun Size"

Directed by: Josh Schwartz
Starring: Victoria Justice, Jane Levy, Thomas Mann and Thomas Middlemitch 
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 1 hour 26 minutes  
Release Date: October 26, 2012

Jane Levy is just too cute to play a bitch.
When it comes down to it, there just aren't that many good family friendly Halloween movies out there. The short list includes such no-brainers as Hocus Pocus, The Monster Squad and A Nightmare Before Christmas while the long list is sadly only comprised of the exact same movies. You can find plenty of  R rated Halloween fare out there but sometimes you just want something to watch and have fun with that doesn't necessitate machete's, creepy music and/or dead bodies littering the pavement.

Which is why it is even more saddening to report that Fun Size, a film trying so hard to be Halloween themed PG-13 version of that old Jonah Hill Michael Cera flick Superbad, is not going to make that list either. Instead it is destined to make the list of films destined for the bargain bin or more likely these days, the type of film that will disappear from the world and no one ever being the wiser to it having ever existed.

One of the biggest problems evident early on is the casting is just all wrong. Victoria Justice as our lead barely seems to have a pulse and does little to keep our interest in her woeful tale of "finding the right guy". The right guy as it happens to be, played by Thomas Mann, is every bit as uninteresting as our main character which ironically makes them a fantastic couple with some great chemistry, though not exactly the type of chemistry that makes one want to watch them go through the motions. Seriously, the only thing the writers could come up with to make either character unique is that Justice's mom is dating a younger man and Mann has gay parents...and that's it.

This represents the high point of the humor in the film, having the car raped by a giant chicken.
 The most annoying bit of casting though comes in the form of Jane Levy as Justice's best friend. Levy is cute as a button normally and beyond a decent actress but is unable to pull off the role as Justice's bitchy best friend. It's hard to put a finger on it but her performance just all felt wrong as I started to hate her the more the film dragged on and I don't think that was supposed to happen. Strangely, Levy seems much more fit for Justice's part and likely would have done much better in the lead role with Justice taking over as the bitchy friend.

Lastly there is the piss poor excuse for a story that revolves around Justice losing track of her little brother in a haunted house and spending the rest of Halloween night hunting him down. Perhaps there could have been a fun movie in there, but the "adventure" they have while trying to find him is just painful to sit through. Even the mini-adventure her brother goes through is slightly more enjoyable (thanks in most part to a very small part played by Thomas Middleditch of Silicon Valley fame) but may still induce some premature wrist slicing by the viewer.


Given all those negative points above you might think there isn't anything left to criticize, but you would be wrong. Probably about the worst offense Fun Size makes in't that it is a bad movie, but is also a really bad "Halloween" movie. Bad in the sense that having Halloween as the setting feels more like an after thought. This story could have taken place on any night of any year and it would still suck, but by dragging Halloween into it the filmmakers purposefully tried to use the holiday to cloak how bad their movie was and that is just beyond shameful.

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