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Nickelodeon strikes out with ‘Fun Size’

October 25th, 2012

e Nickelodeon film “Fun Size” fell short in an attempt to reach both teen and “tween” audiences.  The content of the film focused on underage partying and suggestive sexual behavior that makes it borderline inappropriate for Nickelodeon’s target audience and uncomfortable for parents accompanying their children.

The movie follows Wren DeSantis, played by Nickelodeon’s Victoria Justice, having to watch her younger brother, Albert, on Halloween, instead of going to the most talked-about party in school. Hilarity ensues when DeSantis loses her younger brother (dressed as a one-armed Spider Man) while trick-or-treating.  Albert, or “Spidey,” has the time of his life encountering new people, tricks and treats on his Halloween adventure.  Wren, with the help of her three friends, spends the night on a wild goose chase, facing several obstacles and moments of humiliation while trying to find Albert.

Albert was easily relatable as the typical pestering and prank-pulling little brother.  However, throughout the entire movie he only mumbled two words.  The majority of the time he used adorable facial expressions, hysterical dance moves and crazy actions to speak for him and cause audience members to fall in love with him.

“Fun Size” portrays the typical and expected high school stereotypes.  They were all easy to match and see throughout the movie. Scenes at the high school Halloween party closely mimicked scenes from the popular movie “Mean Girls.”  There were the ignorant parents, jocks, promiscuous costumes and underage drinking. Also like “Mean Girls,” the most popular and hottest guy in school was the center of the party and ironically fell for the unpopular girl, Wren.

The predictable plot didn’t leave much room for surprise throughout the film. The majority of the humor was aimed at a younger audience.  However, there were some jokes and inappropriate scenes that would have parents questioning whether this movie would be more appropriate for an older audience.

Late night talk show host Chelsea Handler played single mother Joy DeSantis. DeSantis, who dates a man half her age, is confused and grieving the loss of her husband and father of her children.  Throughout the film, Joy doesn’t reflect Handlers’ normal inappropriate behavior you see on her late night show. Audiences may struggle to connect with this character because she is played by Handler, a known crude comic.

Putting the humor aside, the film did a great job in making a grieving family looking to reconnect relatable to all audiences.  The vulnerability of these scenes provided the audience with a greater understanding of the characters.

The coolest part about this movie is that it was filmed and takes place in Cleveland. It was fun to see several Cleveland landmarks in the film and even see some local faces as extras. If you want to see a movie that appeals to your inner-child or one that takes place in our own backyard, then “Fun Size” is the perfect light-hearted movie for the Halloween season.