Don't be Tricked, Fun Size is No Treat
- Friday, October 26, 2012
DVD Release Date: February 19, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: October 26, 2012
Rating: PG-13 for crude and suggestive material, partying and language
Run Time: 90 min.
Director: Josh Schwartz
Cast: Victoria Justice, Jackson Nicoll, Jane Levy, Thomas Mann, Chelsea Handler, Josh Pence, Thomas Middleditch, Thomas McDonell
Fun Size, from Nickelodeon Movies, is wildly misconceived. What appears to be marketed as a movie for young kids is actually a film aimed at teens, with awkward, uncomfortable jokes about the nature of an older boy’s friendship with a young boy, a relationship between a 20-something hunk and an older widow, and high-school aged kids eager for romantic experiences that go beyond puppy love and first kisses. Parents who think the Nickelodeon brand means they can comfortably see this film with their kids should think again.
Wren (Victoria Justice, Nickelodeon TV's Zoey 101) is on the cusp of a social breakthrough at school. Gorgeous classmate Aaron (Thomas McDonell, Prom) has invited her to attend his party. Her best friend April (Jane Levy) is even more excited. Less enthused is Roosevelt (Thomas Mann), who has a secret crush on Victoria. Such is life in high school.
But "possibly the greatest night" of Wren’s life gets short-circuited when her mom, Joy (Chelsea Handler, This Means War), decides to go out with her 20-something boyfriend Keevin (Josh Pence, The Social Network). Joy is a widow who, in Wren’s words, "kind of lost it" after Wren’s dad died. When Mom goes out, Wren gets stuck watching her younger brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll), who communicates only through gestures—he refuses to speak.
That doesn’t mean he can’t get into trouble. His "crimes" aren’t too serious, but Fun Size, set during Halloween, shows Albert looting several neighbors' candy dishes while trick-or-treating, annoying his sister in the bathroom, and, late in the film, causing social-media havoc. In between, he gets away from Wren, setting in motion the movie’s main storyline: Wren’s attempt to find Albert and return him to the family home before Joy returns.
That’s where the movie spins completely out of control. Albert’s wanderings take him to a convenience store, where a clerk who goes by the name Fuzzy (Thomas Middleditch) enlists him in an effort to get revenge on an old flame. If the thought of an older teen inviting a young child to ride along in his car with him so the boy can play a role in a crime sounds more disturbing than humorous, you won't find much to enjoy in Fun Size. As if realizing the awkward implications of the situation, screenwriter Max Werner (whose other writing credits are for TV’s The Colbert Report) gives Fuzzy a few lines in which he expresses the unease most people would feel. But if Werner thinks such dialogue eases the tension created by his scenario, he's wrong.
Things don’t improve from there. Fuzzy’s revenge scenario results in unintended arson (are you laughing yet?), while Wren’s friend Roosevelt deals with his two moms (yes, he has two moms), trashes the family car and fends off some school jocks. The jokes grow more coarse: April has used Nair on her backside, a giant chicken mascot falls over and makes thrusting motion toward Roosevelt’s car, and a boy bargains his way into feeling a girl's breast (the fulfillment of this bargain is depicted, with the recipient discovering she enjoys it). Young Albert finds himself surrounded by illegal behavior at wild parties, and the subject of illegal behavior when he’s kidnapped and held for ransom.
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