Review in a Hurry: A majorly über uncool bummer summer movie for kids, this not-awesome outing follows the adventures of the precocious, titular tomboy from the popular book series. Something got sooo totally lost in the translation from page to screen—like humor and charm.
The Bigger Picture: Poor Judy Moody just can't win any "thrill points" in her dare race with friends. Similarly, Judy Moody—no matter how many super-duper slangarific superlatives and acronyms it hurls (not to mention pukes and poops)—just can't garner any excitement or LOLs.
Newcomer Jordana Beatty plays the ultra-manic third grader who dreams up the ultimate summer vacay for her gang. But two BFFs already have other plans, so Judy has to make do with a second-best friend and her pesky younger brother, Stink (Parris Mosteller). Things get even worse when Judy's parents take off for California, and she has to stay behind with Aunt Opal (Heather Graham, sunny and lovely in gobs of hair extensions), whom she's never met.
With help from hippy-dippy artist Opal, Judy tries to salvage her summer by challenging pals to a contest of dares. But all her activities go awry: She falls in the creek while walking a tightrope, almost eats an animal-scat sandwich and gets spewed with blue barf on a rollercoaster. Mega thrilladelic, right? All the while, Stink obsessively hunts for Bigfoot, who's reportedly been spotted in their Virginia suburb.
Instead of breezy and fun (the way a not-bummer summer should be!), Judy Moody is grating and desperate, like Beatty's incessant whining, and strains for laughs that never come. The sight gags are silly and familiar, even to a young audience.
Director John Schultz amps up the ADD-addled effect with his swooping camera, gumball-colored design, and animated sequences. Adding to the disjointed randomness is an episodic script that plays as if pages from disparate chapters were braided together.
Final frames hint at a Judy Moody sequel set in Paris. Non, non, s'il vous plaît—we're still reeling from a Bangkok hangover!
The 180—a Second Opinion: Ever wanted to know what a grown-up Urkel looks like, sans suspenders? Here's your chance! Family Matters' Jaleel White plays Judy's odd-duck teacher, Mr. Todd.