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Lisa Cholodenko About To Have A ‘Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’

Written by on May 3, 2011 

Coming off her Oscar-nominated dramedy The Kids Are All Right, we’ve been waiting to see what writer/director Lisa Cholodenko would choose as her next project. After toying with The Abstinence Teacher, she has picked a different, lesbian-free project, and will instead be heading into “high-concept family comedy” territory.

Variety reports she will direct a live-action version of Judith Viorst‘s uber popular children’s book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. 20th Century Fox will produce the film will help from Shawn Levy‘s 21 Laps company. Rob Lieber will adapt the script.

I vaguely remember the book from my childhood, but it is an odd step for Cholodenko’s career. The idea of her directing a big-budget family comedy seems like a cash grab, but with very little details known, we can’t quite confirm that statement. While I thought she did a great job achieving fantastic performances from her actors in her last feature, I was underwhelmed by the storytelling and directing. With this beloved book in her hands, I hope she can change my mind. Check out a synopsis of it below via Amazon.

“I went to sleep with gum in my mouth and now there’s gum in my hair and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on the skateboard and by mistake I dropped my sweater in the sink while the water was running and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”

So begin the trials and tribulations of the irascible Alexander, who has been earning the sympathy of readers since 1972. People of all ages have terrible, horrible days, and Alexander offers us the cranky commiseration we crave as well as a reminder that things may not be all that bad. As Alexander’s day progresses, he faces a barrage of bummers worthy of a country- western song: getting smushed in the middle seat of the car, a dessertless lunch sack, a cavity at the dentist’s office, stripeless sneakers, witnessing kissing on television, and being forced to sleep in railroad-train pajamas. He resolves several times to move to Australia.

Judith Viorst flawlessly and humorously captures a child’s testy temperament, rendering Alexander sympathetic rather than whiny. Our hero’s gum-styled hair and peevish countenance are artfully depicted by Ray Cruz’s illustrations. An ALA Notable Book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a great antidote to bad days everywhere, sure to put a smile on even the crabbiest of faces.

What do you think about Cholodenko venturing into broad family comedy for her next film?

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