Just like its target audience’s age group, “Fun Size” is awkwardly stuck between two worlds. It’s a little too spicy to be family friendly, yet far too tame to deliver laughs with its wanna-be teen comedy material.
Victoria Justice stars as Wren, a high school senior with a dysfunctional family. Her father passed away recently, and ever since, her little brother Albert (Jackson Nicoll) has been acting up and causing trouble, while also refusing to talk. Her mother (Chelsea Handler) has been playing cougar, dating a much younger man. When Wren and her best friend April (Jane Levy) are invited to the Halloween party of the most popular boy at school, they think their social lives have just received a promotion. However, her irresponsible mother wants to go to a party herself, and sticks Wren with taking care of her little brother.
Bemoaning the fact that can’t attend the party, Wren and April take Albert to a haunted house, where they promptly lose track of him. He wanders off down the street to a local convenience store to get a Slurpee and even though he’s only six or so, and doesn’t talk, he falls in with the local clerk, who’s trying to get his girlfriend back. This leaves the girls frantically searching the neighborhood for him, with no hope of finding him. They recruit two nerdy boys (Thomas Mann and Osric Chau) to drive them around and both tween hijinks and tween romance ensue.
The emphasis being on tween, as all of the antics are antiseptically clean, in spite of the fact that they seem as if they’re patterning themselves off of teen party movies. It’s like watching a teen comedy about a bunch of kids that have a wild party, get drunk and fool around, except they don’t have a wild party, and no one gets drunk or fools around. The little kid wanders off and gets into all kinds of trouble… If by all kinds of trouble, you mean the kind of trouble that’s only “trouble” because he’s unsupervised.
It’s all tame with a capital T. Which would be fine, considering the target audience, if they had found a way to be funnier with it. None of the young cast strike me as that talented, but in fairness, they’re working with a script that’s bland as boiled potatoes. They’re not getting much help from the adults, either. Johnny Knoxville stars as the loser who crosses paths with the little boy, and Chelsea Handler plays the skanky, inattentive mom who develops regrets along the way. That’s a pretty unappealing combination, in my book. The biggest laughs come courtesy of the young boy, who does do a couple of things that caused me to wonder if this movie will embarrass him as he grows up, but it’s not enough to carry the movie.
It all adds up to a toothless teen comedy that’s not very funny.