In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_penguins_of_madagascar

Penguins of Madagascar

The pacing is so zany, the jokes are so rapid-fire and the sight gags are so inspired that it’s impossible not to get caught up…

Thumb_zrklcox7o9tjpyb9s7u6mpw8vos

Horrible Bosses 2

The law of diminishing returns, which has afflicted so many comedy sequels over the years, strikes again in “Horrible Bosses 2,” further proving that just…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives

Reviews

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer Movie Review
  |  

"Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer" is a film that little kids might find perfectly acceptable. Little, little, little kids. My best guess is, above fourth-grade level, you'd be pushing it. Young kids, however, might enjoy its zany adaptation of Megan McDonald's best-seller. That makes this film a good candidate for watching it on video. I doubt many parents would enjoy it much, and I can't see grown-ups attending unless they're on duty.

The movie tells the story of redheaded Judy Moody (Jordana Beatty), who learns in disbelief that while all her friends will be spending the summer doing neat things, her own parents will be away from home on an important trip. They plan to abandon Judy and her kid brother, Stink (Parris Mosteller), to the care of her dreaded Aunt Opal (Heather Graham). That information immediately reminded me that one of my mother's best friends was named Opal Hollingsworth. I heard the name "Opal Hollingsworth" so often that it's difficult for me to think of an Opal not named Hollingsworth.

What, you may ask, does that possibly have to do with "Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer"? I must be honest. Both while watching the movie and again while writing this review, when I got to the name "Aunt Opal," my mind veered off on a tangent. There was little in the film to draw it back on course. It may seem unfair of me to change the subject so arbitrarily, but I am trying to signal my grown-up readers that they may find themselves looking for stuff to think about while watching this film.

Anyway, Aunt Opal turns up and is not nearly so bad as Judy Moody fears. She draws up a Thrill Chart, a weirdly unconnected checklist of things to keep Judy and Stink occupied during the summer, and the film works its way through some of these topics with lots of bright colors and jolly music. There are also some jokes about those basic bodily functions that little kids seem to find hilarious.

Jordana Beatty is capable here, sweet and spirited, and my wish for her is that life brings her screenplays that I will find more interesting. She might excel in "The Life of Opal Hollingsworth," who was quite a character.

Popular Blog Posts

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Mike Nichols: 1931-2014

An obituary for Mike Nichols.

Mike Leigh, a smartphone, and mace

A report from the macing incident at yesterday's AFI screening.

Report from the 27th Tokyo Film Festival

A report on Japanese animation at the 27th Tokyo Film Festival.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus