I shouldn't complain since I knew what I was getting myself into but Diary of a Wimpy Kid might be the only film where a piece of stinky mildewed cheese is the best part of the film. Honestly. While not completely horrible, the movie suffers from a lack of good directing, special effects, acting (other than the cheese) and well entertainment. I took my two sons to see the movie with me and didn’t mind that I had to leave the film on two occasions to take them to the bathroom. As a matter of fact, later on in the day they were talking about Astro Boy they had rented on DVD and seen earlier than Diary of a Wimpy Kid. That’s the kind of impression it leaves on children I guess.
I have a read a little of the actual books with my kids and enjoy the wry observational humor that the main protagonist Greg (Zachary Gordon) narrates as he goes through his first year of Junior High School. Unfortunately, the film turns him into a smug know-it-all whose only concern is to become popular at all costs, alienating his friends, family and the entire school with his mean spirited antics and pranks. Unfortunately, the audience is left alienated too as we have to sit through minute after excruciating minute of what felt like a 3 hour movie. My son (4) put it best…”the movie kept going and going and going.”
There are a few bright spots. Of course with any made for kiddie fare, there has to be a moral to the story and this one was pretty good, even though I feel that ‘Be Yourself’ might have been a better moral to hang your plot on rather than ‘Don’t rat out your friends’. But then again, who am I to judge? I haven’t been in Jr. High for so many years maybe that’s what the main concern is nowadays, even though I must agree with Greg that Jr. High should just be discarded and skipped over. His best friend Rowley played by Robert Capron was also a breath of fresh air. The plump kid couldn’t act to save his diet, but the part was so likable you couldn’t help but root for him.
In all, the movie suffices as a glorified after school Disney special complete with zany sound effects, super saturated colors and dumb booger jokes. I guess this passes for entertainment in most executives minds when they think of children’s entertainment but as far as my kids are concerned, they would much rather watch Star Trek and Wall-E to get their imaginations going. Leave this cheese bomb alone…literally.
See it now!!!!
See it in theaters!!!
Rent it on DVD/BluRay!!
Wait for it on TV!