Watered down is a phrase that comes to mind in the wake of Nickelodeon’s latest Halloween tween comedy Fun Size.
Wren’s (Victoria Justice) Halloween plans go awry when she’s made to babysit her grotesque, piglet brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll), who intentionally loses her in the crowds of trick-or-treaters to go out and wreak mischief. With her best friend April (Jane Levy) and nerdy friends [Roosevelt (Thomas Mann) & Peng (Osric Chau)] she must find her brother and try to have the best Halloween ever.
Fun Size is a patch work of far better teen films. The story is a compilation of tenets from better films such as: it all happens in one night, single mums are clinging to their youth by sleeping with younger men, the nerdy girl is REALLY HOT, the geeks act tough and they get the hot girls, the cute guy at school is a dullard and has a bevy of beauties that follow him around … need I say more?. Pretty in Pink to Superbad – nothing is safe.
Director Josh Schwartz, the creator and head writer on the television series The O.C and creator of Gossip Girl is still vying to be in touch with the teen experience by veiling writer, Max Werner’s cardboard cut-out script with some of his token parents that are humans too, down on their luck geeks that get the girl and kids that have an encyclopaedic of music way before their generation.
The actors really don’t have anything to do with their roles to be memorable. The characterisations are so cartoonish and fished from teen film and television archetypes that I’m surprised that the characters weren’t called “Nerd Love Interest that gets the girl” or “Hot, Dumb Guy” or “Vapid, self centred red-headed friend” you can almost hear Schwartz’s voice bellowing through a megaphone “More geek funny like Seth from the O.C!”
Fun Size is the Nickelodeon equivalent of a Hallmark card for Halloween. Even the target audience will be asking their parents when it’s polite to dispose of it after the holiday.
Half a Star