I had the absolute pleasure to attend the press junket last week for the newest Disney release, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. A day at the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills? Yes, please.
I had already seen (and immensely enjoyed) the film, so I was really looking forward to hearing what the actors had to say. There were 2 panels. The first being made up of the director, Miguel Arteta, the producers: Lisa Henson and Dan Levine, and the screenwriter, Rob Lieber.
To my everlasting delight, director Miguel Arteta invoked the mighty name of John Hughes (let's observe a moment of silence, please) as his inspiration for the way the film unfolded. "Yes!" I thought, "That's exactly how I would've done it." (Of course, that's the way I would have done it in the alternate universe I inhabit where I am in charge of the world, but that's not important right now.)
Call me old-fashioned but I love the idea of bringing back family comedies. The cast seemed to feel exactly the same.
Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner play the quintessential harried parents trying to raise a family and keep it together for one, crazy, terrible, everything-is-going-wrong day. Steve played it, he said, very much like he interacts with his own kids and wife in his real life. I liked that very much.
Ed Oxenbould is impressive as Alexander, the titular character who can't seem to catch a break on this particular day. He plays an American 12 year old obsessed with Australia, which is ironic because he's actually Australian, but he sounds completely American. (Are you still following?) HE'S AUSTRALIAN, BUT HE'S DOING AN AMERICAN ACCENT. You would never be able to tell unless I shared that with you. Just keep that in mind when you see the film. You're welcome.
The thing that struck me the most about this junket is how comfortable the actors were with one another. They interacted like, well…a real family.
And you know how much I LOVE family. Well played, Disney. Well played.
The press junket ended with a special surprise performance by the "Australian Cowboy Dancers." (You need to see the movie to understand the significance.)
That would be Thunder From Down Under, who performed a rolicking (G-rated) dance for us. (They're wearing chaps, people!)
And hung around to mingle with those of us who were slack-jawed amazed by these beautiful specimens. I know. Shut up.
I have some really fun behind-the-scenes stuff to share with you in the next few days, so please stay tuned. In the meantime, here's the trailer for Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, which opens in theaters everywhere on Friday, October 10th, 2014.