DIARY OF A WIMPY KID
SYNOPSIS: Meet the kid who made "wimpy" cool, in a family comedy motion picture based on the best-selling illustrated novel Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney, the first in a series that has thus far sold 28 million books. DIARY OF A WIMPY KID chronicles the adventures of wisecracking pre-teen Greg Heffley, who must somehow survive the scariest time of anyone's life....middle school.
REVIEW: When the opportunity to do this review came around, I was thrilled because my boys (have I told you guys that I have 3 boys?) are fans of the book series by Jeff Kinney. If you’ve ever seen the books, then you know that the characters are basically stick figures and the chance to see them “fleshed” out was a great motivator. Ralphie, my youngest, was so excited to find his friend, Louie Armstrong at the screening and I was able to get their opinion (You gotta love his name especially since he is so the opposite of the Louie Armstrong of musical fame. Blonde haired, blue eyed and all of maybe 4 feet tall). This is a film that really is just for their enjoyment. What I mean by that is that there have been other “children’s” films that a parent can enjoy and understand just as much as the kids but this one, although really well done, was meant for the elementary school and preteen boy out there.
Zachary Gordon plays Greg Heffley, our protagonist, trying to get through the difficult stage that is not exactly being a teen and yet not a little kid either. Greg’s older brother Roderick (Devon Bostick) has all but drilled into him how horrible Middle School will be for him but plucky Greg decides that as he put it “I'll be famous one day, but for now I'm stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons”. He begins to work hard at finding a way to be cool. This is not easy when your best friend still wants to have sleepover parties and “come over and play” after school. Speaking of best friend, Rowley (Robert Capron) is just so absolutely adorable, sweet and unaffected by all of Greg’s attempts to find his away into the yearbook superlatives page. Surviving P.E., Patty Ferrel (Laine MacNeil) trying to beat you up at every turn, the school play, bullies and just so much drama is not easy but after so many trails and misses Greg finally gets it. All along Greg thought Rowley’s childishness is so uncool but he obviously tries too hard to be cool and fails miserably. As Louie (Ralphie’s buddy) put it “trying too hard doesn’t get you what you want - just the opposite”. So much insight from an eight year old!
The actors in this film did a great job such as Steve Zahn as the dad, clueless yet sweetly supportive of his boy. Rachel Harris as the mom, adorably sending her middle child off to middle school all the while mortifying him. I experienced this myself this year as my 12 year old middle child went off to middle school and I sat outside in my car and cried and prayed for him while he walked away from me - not easy but you have to let go.
There are certain scenes in the film that will gross out the adults and totally be cool for the kids such as Fregley’s (Grayson Russell) freckle - “it has a hair in it!” or my personal, ahem, favorite, the CHEESE. I’m not going to go into detail about the CHEESE, but it can be said that it was a character in the film and I will say that it still has me grossed out 4 days after the screening. Ralphie thought it was cool so what do I know. To wrap it up - this is a film that is good clean entertainment (except for the CHEESE) that your kids will love. I must say that lately a lot of the so called “children’s” films that have come out, I did not feel comfortable allowing my kids to view them without a few disclaimers. In this case, bring the young ones with your eyes closed and fully trusting that there will not be any uncomfortable moments. Oh, by the way, Greg and Rowley do make it into the superlatives page after all!
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