John Hughes’s estimable body of work is aggressively pickpocketed for this odd, misguided Halloween-themed tweener romp. Direct from ‘Pretty in Pink’ comes the peppy single-parented outsider unaware of her own allure – only here she’s named Wren and is played with dead-eyed android charmlessness by TV star Victoria Justice (even her name sounds like a fembot). Taking the part of Anthony Michael Hall in ‘The Breakfast Club’ is Thomas Mann as hapless but loveable dork Roosevelt, while the minor-league racism of ‘Sixteen Candles’ is effortlessly evoked by Osric Chau as bespectacled Asian boob-grabber Peng. For the full house, the part of Macaulay Culkin in ‘Home Alone’ – reimagined as a mute eight-year-old, but essentially the same smart-alecky bane-of-the-adult-world – is taken by Jackson Nicoll as Albert, the little brother whose disappearance kicks off the ‘plot’.
True, there’s a handful of memorable one-liners and the everything-in-the-pot randomness of the script means that it never quite becomes boring. But this is a dog’s breakfast of a film, lurching from simpering teen-romcom sentiment to off-colour paedophile gags to sub-‘Juno’ hipster cultural references to a lecture on the woes of single motherhood without breaking stride. Oh, and that 90-minute running time is padded out at the start with a music video for irksome popster Carly Rae Jepsen. So if you’re not a 12-year-old girl, be sure to arrive five minutes late.
Cast and crew
Average User Rating
3.1 / 5
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The review totally nails the film. A film that could and should have been so much better. It hits every cliche in awful teen movies and ends with an artificial sounding and looking feel good ending that its corporate backers no doubt demanded. Not the worst film this year but far from the best. Four out of ten a disappointing 2 stars.
the worst film ive seen since freebee and the bean .. which was memorably desribed "as funny as watching an orphanage burn down" ditto