Preston Bailey and Jordana Beatty strap themselves in for a kid-friendly ride.
JUDY MOODY AND THE NOT BUMMER SUMMER (John Schultz). 91 minutes. Opens Friday (June 10). See listing Rating: NN
Judy Moody And The NOT Bummer Summer is as manic as kids on a sugar rush and just as exhausting for the adults they're with. Adapting Megan McDonald's popular kid-lit series for the big screen, the movie pales in comparison to better efforts like Diary Of A Wimpy Kid, which portrays realistic relationships and imparts kid-friendly messages along with the hyperactive G-rated slapstick.
Australian newcomer Jordana Beatty stars as a preteen who goes on a mission to salvage her summer while her best friend is away at Circus Camp. (According to Google, those do exist.) Aided by her hippie aunt (Heather Graham, slumming it), Judy rocks out in episodic misadventures that often feature puke, poop and car chases after Big Foot.
The fiery-haired Beatty is a real find, delivering a physical performance that's as wild and colourful as Judy's bedroom decor. However, she doesn't have much to work with, since the role keeps her occupied running, falling, roaring and coining expressions like "rare" and "A-B-S" (already-been-slobbered).
Small children will eat this stuff up, especially since the screen stays busy enough with animations and action to keep those with short attention spans hooked. Adults, though, will feel like they've had too much cotton candy.