Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day **Dir: Miguel Arteta. With: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Ed Oxenbould. 81 mins. Cert: PG.
Here’s a pretty ordinary Disney response to Fox’s sharper Diary of a Wimpy Kid series: bright yet sensitive pre-teen (Ed Oxenbould, not quite winning enough) feels dreadful for commuting – via an errant birthday wish – 24 hours of bad luck onto his nearest and dearest. 75 minutes of sketches involving car crashes, vomit and escaped kangaroos ensue, followed by a five-minute affirmation of the family that “steers its ship with positivity”. The grown-ups grab a few legitimately funny bits, but it makes for strangely agitating, passive-aggressive matinee fare: perhaps you just have to enjoy watching rows breaking out more than this viewer does.
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day opens in Scotland today, and around the rest of the UK on October 24.