'Fun Size' review: Small, but not much fun

Victoria Justice at the Katy Perry: Part of Victoria Justice at the Katy Perry: Part of Me movie premiere at Gruman's Theater in Los Angeles. (June 26, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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REVIEW

PLOT: A teen on the verge of college is stuck baby-sitting her 8-year-old brother, who gets away from her on Halloween.

BOTTOM LINE: Not much fun here

CAST: Victoria Justice, Jackson Nicoll, Jane Levy, Chelsea Handler

LENGTH: 1:27

It's funny how the beloved movies of one's less politically correct youth turn out to have a lot more edge once you show them to your own kids. "Back to the Future" has more sexuality than you remember, and little blasts of profanity. "Adventures in Babysitting," "Bad News Bears" and "Goonies," even more.

"Fun Size" is in that tradition -- at least in terms of the naughty stuff that tweens and teens will snicker over.

Pity it isn't as much fun as its title implies.

Victoria Justice jumps from Nickelodeon to the big screen with a PG-13 romp that only rarely romps, a movie that surrounds the 19-year-old with funny people and struggles to find them laughs.

Justice ("Victorious") plays Wren, a Cleveland high school senior dreaming of the day she can slip off to New York and college, which is where her late father taught her that "you find out who you really are." First, she's got to talk Mom (Chelsea Handler, given nothing funny to do) into letting her apply to NYU. Mom's a bit distracted. Grieving for her late husband has taken the form of dating / sleeping with the much younger, goofier Keevin (Josh Pence).

Mom is determined to hang out with Keevin's loser friends on Halloween, which ruins Wren's plans to hit the hot high school party with her hot-to-trot pal April (Jane Levy, amusingly on the money). Wren has to baby-sit her silent-but-deadly 8-year-old brother, Albert (Jackson Nicoll), whose pranks are epic but who basically stopped talking when their dad died.

Even though we know where most of this is going, Max Werner's middling script is sprinkled with surprises -- some rude, others downright crude. But Justice does nothing here that would make her stand out from the current crop of pretty young things trying to jump from TV to the movies.


PLOT A teen on the verge of college is stuck baby-sitting her 8-year-old brother, who gets away from her on Halloween. RATING PG-13 (crude and suggestive material, partying, language)

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CAST Victoria Justice, Jackson Nicoll, Jane Levy, Chelsea Handler

LENGTH 1:27

PLAYING AT Area theaters

BOTTOM LINE Not much fun here

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