The New York Times said Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer was great. Well, I saw the moving on Saturday with my kids, and the New York Times was wrong.
Here's one thing: Judy's annoying. Watching her face you could practically see her thinking, "Now I have to make my eyes really wide!" Another thing: Everyone in this movie wears a lot of lipstick (except Judy's brother Stink, who was pretty terrific, in fact, but doesn't have much in the way of lips). A third thing: Everyone, save Judy's teacher who drives an ice cream truck for a summer job (no comment on the socio-economics of that) is white, white, white. Maybe in the opening last-day-of-school classroom scene there are some kids who aren't white, but otherwise,there's not an Asian kid, a South Asian kid in sight, never mind a Latino child or African American. Finally, nothing happens. I mean nothing emotional happens. Judy's parents leave, enter wacky, artsy aunt, Judy pursues "thrill points," has a little tiff with the one friend she's left with after her other friends leave, then there's a big car chase. The fight with the friend is unresolved and there's no heart-to-heart with the aunt about choices and opportunities or friendship and what makes something fun meaningful, too. There's no moment when Judy, or anyone else in the movie reflects on anything. I know such a scene would've been totally predictable, but still, I missed it, kind of like I missed Bruce Willis when I watched Keaneu Reeves in Speed.
Sure the movie had cute animation and was colorful and it might just be that I was feeling super cranky when I saw it, or.....it might be that Judy Moody is a total bummer of a summer movie. But, I have high hopes for Winnie the Pooh.