“Fun Size” is a kiddie comedy starring TV’s Victoria Justice (star of “Victorious,” an admitted guilty pleasure) in what is essentially a throwback to the great teen comedies of John Hughes — “Sixteen Candles,” in particular. “Fun Size” is nowhere near as funny, memorable or clever as the Hughes films, but if you were to think of it as a not-bad homage, it’ll fit the bill until something better comes along.
In it, Justice plays Wren, the token girl-who-doesn’t-think-she’s-beautiful-but-clearly-is who is given the duty of taking her mischievous little brother trick-or-treating on the same night the school hunk is throwing a bash. Naturally, the brother ventures off on his own, vowing to snatch up as much candy as he can, leading Justice and three friends on a pratfall-filled wild goose chase to retrieve the little nipper.
Some of the lines in “Fun Size” are amusing, but the movie is hampered by a dopey subplot in which an uncredited Johnny Knoxville shows up out of nowhere and sucks all the fun out of the film. A lot of the gags seem too easy (there’s a scene in which a giant chicken statue humps a vehicle, and if you think that’s funny, you need better standards), the romance is predictable, and, considering “Fun Size” was made by the folks at Nickelodeon, it’s pretty off-putting how much swearing and references to touching boobs is contained in the film.
On the plus side, some of the cast members are aces, particularly Jane Levy as Wren’s BFF and Jackson Nicoll as the missing little boy. Even Chelsea Handler is at her least obnoxious, a sentence I was sure I would never get to write. But as “Fun Size” was running through the motions, never elevating itself above the level of subpar, it only made me yearn to revisit the Hughes films it wants to emulate. And that is a notion that sounds like a lot of fun.
★★ out of ★★★★
Rated PG-13 for language, sex talk and teen drinking. 90 minutes.
Director: Josh Schwartz. Starring: Victoria Justice, Jane Levy.