Jun. 15, 2011 - Issue #817: Paying for water
Judy Moody and the not bummer summerIn kids' movies, there's often a fine line between charming and too-eager-to-please. Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, a hyperactively desperate-to-entertain adaptation of Megan McDonald's book series, also veers into too-episodic, too-peppy and too-kooky territory. Heather Graham, as Aunt Opal, who's come to take care of Judy (Jordana Beatty) and her brother (Parris Mosteller) while their parents are away, personifies the problem. She's messier and more irresponsible than the kids, always seems hippy-dippy and her inner core seems to be a nuclear-sunniness ... but she never develops her caricature into a character.
Just because kids are young doesn't mean they can't be interesting enough to carry a movie, as the vastly superior Ramona and Beezus showed last year. But this movie won't sit still long enough to get beyond its pee, barf and poop moments and offer anything interesting about an eight-year-old girl or her summer. There's something natural and down-to-earth about Mosteller as Stink, at least, amid the sugar-rush performances and garish set design. And some visuals, plus Judy's growing love of words (we see her two definitions of "scat"), are intriguing. Otherwise, this movie would be a lot more funner if it were much less dumber.
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Directed by: John Schultz
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