"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" Movie Review (2010)

3/23/2010 Posted by Admin

Movie Review

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid"

Directed by Thor Freudenthal, Written by Jackie Filgo, Jeff Filgo, Jeff Judah and Gabe Sachs, 93 minutes, Rated PG

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" follows in the footsteps of such childhood favorites as the television shows "Hey Arnold" and "Recess" or movies like "Harriet the Spy." It focuses pretty much entirely on children, and they seem to exist in a universe where parents are just background figures and there is nothing more crucial than video games, friends and that unstoppable force that they form their lives around--school.

In this case, our wimpy kid is Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon), who is just starting middle school and is desperate to fit in and make a name for himself. The film is pretty loosely plotted. We basically see little episodes of Greg attempting various activities and interacting with his bullying big brother and best friend Rowley, and throughout the film, we get Greg's young outlook on life. We get a lot of the typical family film stuff here--trick or treating on Halloween, participating in the school musical, dealing with bullies, siblings, and goofy parents, etc. There's nothing particularly outstanding, but most of the time these sequences are amusing. This is almost entirely thanks to Gordon, who gives one of the better child performances of the last few years as Greg. He portrays him as vain, selfish and completely naive, but also with a great deal of heart, and he ends up being a very well-drawn and relatable character. I can definitely see a lot of things opening up for the young actor, especially if the film does well enough for inevitable sequels to follow.

The rest of the cast isn't too bad either, with some great stuff from Robert Capron, Karan Brar, Grayson Russell and Alex Ferris as Greg's various classmates; Steve Zahn and Rachael Harris as his parents; Devon Bostick as his brother; and, perhaps best of all, Chloe Moretz as the enigmatic and intellectual editor of the school paper. Moretz showed off a lot of talent in "(500) Days of Summer," and her role here definitely proves it was no fluke. She's immensely charming and has a subtlety that could grace a Wes Anderson film, and it's no wonder she's become so popular so quickly. Her role in the upcoming "Kick-Ass" is sure to be even more impressive.

Obviously, the film won't appeal that much to adults, but for those familiar with a lot of the children's shows of the '90s, "Diary of a Wimpy Wimpy Kid" is an interesting look back at that brand of entertainment, and it's sure to be an absolute blast for kids, especially ones who are already fans of the book upon which it's based by Jeff Kinney.

Though not particularly groundbreaking or memorable, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" definitely exceeds the standards for a modern family film and it's almost guaranteed to entertain any kid who goes to see it.

Grade: B

View the trailer for "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" below. What are your thoughts?

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