Fun Size – It’s Not Shit
After a couple of close calls on the It’s Not Shit front, I thought it was time to finally give in and add to the collection (meta burn. Because The Collection was one of the close calls. Eat it, Dunstan and Melton).
And who would have thought it’d be a Victoria Justice, Nickelodeon, Halloween cash-in piece of garbage like Fun Size.
It’s a good thing I like garbage.
TL;DR Fun Size surprisingly avoids being the kiddie-dumb fluffball I expected it to be. Victoria Justice is uncompelling and her character is hollow, but all the supporting characters easily drown her out. And the jokes aren’t too bad, either. 4 out of 5 stars.
And Chelsea Handler actually displays acting ability. Unthinkable.
The central plot of Fun Size (it’s a pun on chocolate bar size, I guess? The title doesn’t get put out there in any meaningful way) revolves around Victoria Justice trying to find her little brother, who she has lost on Halloween night. She unfortunately doesn’t use the power of song. Instead, she ropes her best friend, not-Emma Stone, and 2 nerdy guys (one has a crush on Victoria, one has a crush on not-Emma Stone) into a night-long search for him. Tension arises because not-Emma Stone wants to go to some hot guy’s party, and Victoria has a crush on that guy, but then she thinks she might have feelings for the nerdy guy, but then not-Emma Stone also has a crush on the party guy but ends up making out with the Asian nerdy guy. Typical teen movie stuff. Meanwhile, Victoria’s brother gets into his own misadventures that involve the help of a dork-cool convenience store clerk and various hot skanks. Eventually, Victoria has to save her brother from Johnny Knoxville, who’s holding him for ransom.
You know. Typical teen movie stuff. Chelsea also gets a cute, throwaway subplot where she’s dating a 26 year-old manchild.
What makes Fun Size more enjoyable than I first assumed was an irreverently quick pace, quality gags, and characters (minus a flatlining Victoria) who are fun (ah ha!) and wacky, but avoid becoming grating caricatures.
And for once I didn’t hate the quirky, chubby little brother archetype. This is what you should have done, Speed Racer. Fuck you.
Why I DON’T hate this movie:
Really, all the supporting characters are cool with me. Fuzzy (the convenience store guy) would have to be the standout. He even has a moment of self-awareness where he has to defend himself from his own realisation that he looks like a paedophile for trying to get Albert (the brother) into his car. Fuzzy is also just a generally really helpful guy, but he’s not above slinging toilet paper into his ex-girlfriend’s supposed apartment, which accidentally sets fire to the apartment of 2 combative Islanders. Hilarity.
NES (not-Emma Stone. Keep up) also transcends her near-pidgeon holing as the rude, insensitive, “why are they friends with them?” best friend. She admits to using Nair on her butt in preparation for her sexy kitty Halloween costume (of course), but complains about it burning. In fact, NES picks up both third and second best lines of the movie when talking about it. The third best line is kind of a no brainer: “It’s like fire shooting out of my ass.” Very Snooki.
Second best line comes later, when she realises the fumes from the Nair are affecting Nerdy Guy’s cat, who is allergic: “Oh my god, my ass is killing this cat.” She’s beauty and she’s grace.
Asian Nerd gets a badass moment when he tries to duel some dudebros they run afoul of. He doesn’t realise that his antique pistol accessory is fully functional. Chicken-exploding hilarity ensues. And they totally showed those dudebros, son.
Nerdy Guy is cute and unoffensive. I didn’t mind him much. His gay mums are cool, too. Ana Gasteyer (of Mean Girls and Reefer Madness, for those of you keeping track of my personal movie reference list) is one of them.
Riki Lindhome pops up as one of Fuzzy’s ex-girlfriends’s skanky friends. But she’s a nice skank, you know? She’s dressed in a cute Galaxy Scout costume (Albert and Fuzzy’s favourite manga), and has some late-stage flirting with Fuzzy. Aww.
Chelsea does a decent job as the aging, recently-widowed woman who clings to youth by banging an immature 26 year-old. Her disgust at the college-esque party is adorable. A girl just walks up to her and pours a shot in her mouth. I would feel violated, too (though it is a free drink, so roll with it, I guess?).
And as much as I found her vacant as fuck, I’ll give ol’ Victoria some points. Her mum gives her a proposition: stay home and watch her brother and she’ll be able to go to NYU for college. Instead of intentionally going aginst this plan just for the sake of a party, she actually obliges completely. Until Albert runs away (natch), but bitch deserves some points for being fucking sensible. Are you listening, teen movie characters?
NES grabs best line (she’s on fire. Because she has red hair) with this bitchy comeback (it’s okay, they make up later) after she’s lures Victoria to Popular Guy’s party:
Victoria: “I can’t believe I actually thought you found my brother.”
NES: “Really? Because I totally tried to make it sound like that on purpose.”
Get this ho on TVD. Now.
Reasons to hate:
Really, the only big oopsie is how boring and unimportant Victoria’s character is. She’s essentially just a pivot for all the other characters and subplots to move around her. And literally all of them are more exciting. And funnier.
Her thing with Nerdy Guy is cute enough, but it’s terribly forced. Their relationship is not really any more developed than the one she has with Popular Guy. And he was hot. And, unlike Victoria, understood the power of song. Should have gone with him, honey.
Her other thread with her dead dad blah blah is similarly forced. It’s mostly ignored until the ending, when Fun Size must have realised there was not enough schmaltz, so they slapped on a visit to his grave with Albert. Albert chooses this time to end his self-imposed silence and thank Victoria. Who cares? I felt much more attached to Chelsea when she had her mini-breakdown about being alone.
Johnny Knoxville, while being a douchelord (that’s his thing, yo) gets a pretty rough ride from the main characters. His only “crimes” are stealing Fuzzy’s girlfriend away and holding Albert for ransom. But considering Albert almost blew his foot off with fireworks, and then Fuzzy subsequently sets his house on fire, I think I’d side with him. Rude, guys.
Chelsea’s boyfriend is treated a bit poorly, too. I’d be happy with a hard-drinking, fit, 26-year old dude who has lots of friends.
The “chicken sign humping the car” scene is groan-worthy.
Asian Nerd causes unnecessary conflict with the dudebros for no reason. You’re lucky you’re in a Nickelodeon movie. Doing that shit in real life will get you fucking stabbed.
Oh, and seriously, Riki Lindhome and Victoria Justice are here, and the only character who sings is some nobody boy? What the fuck?
Can you imagine if they’d had Actual Emma Stone and Nina Dobrev in the lead roles? Eh, whatever. It’s still pretty fab as it is. It’s not shit. 4 out of 5 stars.