DVD Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer

DVD Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer
DVD Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer

Run time: 91 min
Rating: 4.0
Genres: Comedy | Family
Director: John Schultz
Writers: Kathy Waugh, Megan McDonald
Stars: Jordana Beatty, Heather Graham, Parris Mosteller
Third grader Judy Moody sets out to have the most thrilling summer of her life.
Plot Keywords: summer, box office flop, hdtv, xbox 360, reference to frankenstein
Country: USA
Release Date: 21 October 2011 (UK)
Box Office
Budget: $20,000,000 (estimated)
Opening Weekend: $6,076,859 (USA) (10 June 2011)
Gross: $15,000,994 (USA) (12 August 2011)


  1. In spite of a mediocre reception, Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer is a thoroughly delightful children's movie that brilliantly captures the spirit of the best-selling Judy Moody books. What must be taken into consideration is that this is not a "Mass Audience" movie, but a movie for fans of the book series and for anyone who is tired of seeing the same cookie-cutter family film with the same cookie-cutter jokes as the last twenty summer family films.

    Jordana Beatty shines as the spunky, red-haired Judy who is determined to not have a bummer summer, aided by quirky little brother Stink and eccentric Aunt Opal. It is an admittedly simple plot, but an enjoyable one, complimented by great acting (a breath of fresh air for anyone who is a bit tired of the Disney Channel style of child acting) and wonderfully whimsical visuals.

    In short, Judy Moody is a children's movie, not a surprise when one considers that it is based on a children's book series. In an age when so many "children's" movies contain off-color jokes and inappropriate content that might amuse the adults but mean very little to children, it's nice to find a children's film that can truly be called a children's film. It's a thrilladelic movie for a "non-mass" audience!

  2. The main reason I was interested in this movie is because of Heather Graham; I know this is a children's movie but you know children don't go to the theaters by themselves and don't buy tickets by themselves so I assumed filmmakers would keep in mind that adults are going to be in the theater as well; unless I suppose it's aimed at the DVD market.

    The manic energy that comes from kids is there but really nothing more. The movie centers around Judy Moody who decides to quantify the quality of her summer break with points for doing daring things only to find that her friends are racking up more points by virtue of exotic locales and exotic camps. Aunt Opal (Graham) is there for the summer to look after the kids and she's a guerrilla artist (and let's leave it at that).

    The setup does promise an interesting look at various things like friendship – the cool friends who aren't there against the not so cool friend who is there; the relationship between the free-spirited Aunt Opal and Judy; or Judy's relationship with her brother who she seems to detest or the fact that their parents can't afford to get her to expensive camps and trips. But, unfortunately, it really doesn't do any of that – it just consists of kids of running around clumsily enacting one part after another of the story. This is where the adults would be annoyed – the story, characters going absolutely nowhere for an hour in the middle of the movie.

    If you're going to see this with your kids, there is some redemption at the ending and have to brave through the middle parts. As for Heather Graham, I wish she was more in the movie; she barely even registers among all the chaos.

  3. Just because a film is made for children does not mean it needs to be childish; just because a film stars Heather Graham does not mean it has to be awful; just because a film attempts to salute the nostalgic summers of our past youth does not mean a person should want to put a gun in their mouth.

    But all of the above-mentioned things crossed my mind many times while viewing "Judy Moody and the Not-Bummer Summer," a picture that by its very title betrays an experience so abysmal, so stupefying, so devoid of any comedic relationship that it makes other movies of this genre, including "Shark Boy and Lava Girl," "Shorts," "Nanny McPhee" or ANYTHING on the current Disney Channel line-up (with the possible exception of "iCarly") seem like "Citizen Kane" by comparison.

    Director John Schultz ("Aliens In the Attic," "The Honeymooners"), should be aware that there are at least a half dozen states for which such an assault on a person's sensibilities commands a capital charge, yet after his big screen retelling of the classic Jackie Gleason/Art Carney sitcom, he is still allowed to walk about on our streets and produce even more noxious waste.

    Now before anyone out there accuses me of beating a dead horse by complaining so much about a kid's picture, bear in mind I am also a parent. Also realize that I take my own children to these kinds of films and "Judy Moody" was no exception. Three of my kids and two of their friends attended a Saturday night showing and only TWO other people were in the theatre – and that was a young couple – with NO moppets.

    The youngsters barely registered a chuckle on the Laugh-O-Meter while I did my best to come up with even the slightest smirk. The reason is painfully obvious – there is not one funny line or situation in the entire effort. Even dropping myself down to the level of what would normally make tykes giggle and trying as hard as I could to find something – ANYTHING – to laugh at was like discovering something politically valuable about Sarah Palin or Barak Obama.

    Here, Jordana Beatty plays Judy Moody (the last name is more than appropriate as her character spends most of the picture in a sullen, sad-sack demeanor) trying to convince her friends, Rocky (Garrett Ryan), Amy (Taylar Hender) and Frank (Preston Bailey) to forgo their own summer plans to compete in a lame series of "thrill point" challenges to determine who will have the "coolest summer ever."

    The first two kids are obviously more intelligent than the hapless, Harry Potter-looking Frank, as they already have plans (although Rocky's attendance at a "circus camp" is as doofy as Judy's nonsensical intentions). Broken-hearted over this development, the red-haired protagonist is hit with equally bad news when it is announced her Aunt Opal (Graham, who lit up the silver screen with her performances in "Bobby" and "Austin Powers, the Spy Who Shagged Me") will babysit while her parents jet off to California (hey, with a kid this depressing, I'd take a flight to the West Coast, too).

    Promising to spend the rest of the summer in her room (where the writers and director should have been sent to, as well), she also has to deal with a creepy little brother, Stink (Paris Mosteller), who dreams of capturing Bigfoot and needs an international translator to be understood.

    And while her two absent buddies are involved in fun activities and collecting "thrill points," Judy and Frank fail at everything in an effort to have fun, including falling off a tightrope, barfing on a roller-coaster, having a bird poop on their picnic lunch and being thrown out of a horror movie. Aunt Opal is little help, either, being the dumbest blonde in existence and sleeping most of the time (just like the audience).

    Picture finally concludes – thankfully – but not without a sequence featuring that one construction worker guy from "City Slickers" chasing Bigfoot through town in an ice cream truck. To further compound the pain, Jaleel "Urkel" White appears as a teacher/ice cream vendor who "entertains" his class by playing the banjo (where's the toothless cretin in "Deliverance" when we need him?).

    Add to this completely unnecessary snippets of badly-drawn and poorly- conceived animation (that make the artwork in "Hoodwinked" look like Pixar effects) and words written across the screen (for SOME reason) at random intervals, and you have one profoundly ridiculous enterprise and one terrible time at the cinemaplex.

    Parents, if you love your children, then, in the name of all that is holy, please do not take them to see this film. I only hope my offspring have the kindness to forgive me – one day

  4. I had a free pass which ONLY could be used for this movie; otherwise, its gag-inducing trailer might have kept me away. (Hollywood's goal for ALL its comedy previews these days seems hell-bent on making viewers barf, perhaps with the hope that they will blame it on a virus or food poisoning, rush home without seeing the movie they paid for–or getting a refund, and then come back and PAY AGAIN for the movie they wanted to see in the first place. Well, if most Americans are THAT stupid, then maybe Owen Wilson SHOULD be president!) Though Jordana Beatty as JUDY MOODY is not really the cutest or most entertaining girl on the block (the Fanning sisters qualify as today's Shirley Temples), BUMMER SUMMER could perhaps pass as DIARY OF A WIMPY KID for the short female set. When all the gross sight gags crammed into the preview are spread out through 91 minutes, its sort of like a farmer fertilizing his field: not so bad (if you don't get caught downwind). And with Heather Graham as Judy's Aunt Opal, this kid pic kind of gets my sympathy vote. Oh, what Roller Girl's stooped down to!

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