By Noah Cohen, Daily Arts Writer
Published October 29, 2012
Possibly the weirdest children’s movie in existence, “Fun Size” is an unredeemably idiotic mashup of every PG/PG-13 teen drama of the past two decades. One thing it has going for it, though, is squeezing so hard on its formula, the last few drops are so bizarrely tainted by miscellany that the movie attains a “wait, are they for real?” originality.
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A Halloween movie whose target audience is approximately no one, “Fun Size” is a surreal, shamelessly unironic cultural Frankenstein. If you manage to stomach the teenpop absurdity, however, the ending is “Juno”-esque and actually quite sweet.
“Fun Size” is much more about the feels than the scares. If you’re looking for a Halloween movie guaranteed not to spook you, this is a fair escape from the creepy tenor of average Halloween entertainment. It might still creep you out, but not by intent.
Wren (Victora Justice, “Victorious”) is Just Your Average Highschooler who happens to be incredibly gorgeous, her best friend (Jane Levy, “Suburgatory”) is the Same But Shallower And Marginally Less Pretty. She begins the movie as a fangirl of Some Idiot Popular Boy (Thomas McDonell, “The Forbidden Kingdom”). She ends as the girlfriend of her Nerdy Friend Who Genuinely Loves Her (Thomas Mann, “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”). This happens during an Unexpected Quest to find her Annoying But Uniquely Cool Little Brother, Albert, (Jackson Nicoll, “The Fighter”) whom she’s assigned to babysit before her Oppressive But Well-Meaning Mother (Chelsea Handler, “The Chelsea Handler Show”) returns home.
But the stereotypes don’t end there. The Nerdy Friend, Roosevelt, has a Repressed Asian Best Friend named Peng (Osric Chau, “2012”) and New-Age Lesbian Mothers. He, Wren and Peng confront bullies, get up to shenanigans that inevitably wreck Roosevelt’s mothers’ car and bond through running from the police.
Almost every character is pigeonholed into an awkward corner — the girls are too sexualized, the boys separated too cleanly into Alpha/Beta categories. All characters, main and minor, somehow become cardboard cutouts of themselves.
As much as you can hate on this movie, any attempt to make nerdy respectful boys into the heroes of teen movies gets at least a cursory nod of approval. Further reasons to see this movie include a troubled but compassionate deskboy named Fuzzy (Thomas Middleditch, “Splinterheads”) and a giant mechanical chicken sodomizing a Volvo.
This is another one of those films that probably ought to be pre-gamed for maximum enjoyment. It’s an interesting attempt, but sexually charged “The Hangover”-style narratives don’t translate well into kid-friendly Halloween flicks. With its oddball content and jerky pace, "Fun Size" limps into theaters wearing the mismatched costumes of its predecessors.