'Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer': What the Critics Say

Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer - Movie Still: Group Shot - 2011
Relativity Media

Smokewood Entertainment and Relativity Media were hoping to launch a new film franchise based on the popular kids book series. But the $20 million film, distributed by Relativity Media in the U.S., has grossed just $13.4 million to date.

The film "is a mild-mannered kids' comedy that makes for a pleasant-enough time killer," writes one reviewer.

The 91-minute Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer, based on the book by Megan McDonald, is already in theaters.

Here are what some reviewers are saying about the kids film, starring Heather Graham and Aussie newcomer Jordana Beatty.

The Hollywood Reporter's Kirk Honeycutt wrote that the summer flick, directed by John Schultz, is "a for-small-children movie that excludes everyone else."

"Take the animated adolescent flourishes of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and apply them to a hyperactive child's imagination, and you have an idea of the texture of Judy Moody ... Schultz's rambunctiously exuberant film," reviewed the New York Times.

And sometimes it pays not to be pretty. "Got a restless preadolescent daughter around the house? ... This breathless kaleidoscope of a movie might be the answer," he concludes.

The San Francisco Chronicle doesn't see much beyond the main characters, who "has the requisite supply of hair and spunk." The reviewer critiques: "... That's the best I can say for this canned piece of family so-called entertainment, which slathers on the bright colors and peppy eccentricity ... but fails to capture the books' childlike voice and charm."

Orlando Sentinel didn't buy Judy Moody, also questioning the recent run of movies tailored toward children. The film "is a mild-mannered kids' comedy that makes for a pleasant-enough time killer," the reviewer says. "All garish colors, small-scale sight gags and kid-friendly one-liners, it lacks the same comic spark that a recent Wimpy Kid's second diary also failed to deliver."