If you ask your average elementary or middle school age boy what his favorite activities are, the chances are that playing video games or sports would be higher up on the list than reading. Unless he’s into comic books, chances are he doesn’t read unless he has to for school. Two notable authors have recently been trying to remedy this and actually get boys to WANT to read: Dav Pilkey, creator of the popular Captain Underpants book series, and Jeff Kinney, creator of the popular book series Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Currently no announcements have been made regarding a movie adaptation of everyone’s favorite underpants wearing superhero, but playgrounds have been buzzing for months in anticipation of Diary of a Wimpy Kid hitting the big screen.
Greg Heffley is indeed a wimpy kid. He’s short for his age, but he dreams big. One day, he says in voiceover, he’ll be famous. But for now, he’s stuck in middle school with these morons. These morons being his lovably nerdy best friend Rowley, the over-confident and hygiene deficient Fregley, his rival in pigtails Patty, and his obnoxious older brother Rodrick. In one of Greg’s early monologues, he says that middle school is a cruel joke by adults, that it’s where adults put kids when they’re growing from child to adult so they don’t have to look at them. While he’s saying this, we get a glimpse of middle school boys with mustaches and taller bullies picking on the little guys. It’s here that we realize that this is exactly how middle school was, and where we say a little prayer of thanks that it’s over.
But that doesn’t mean that Diary of a Wimpy Kid isn’t a treat to watch. It’s a coming of age story with a good moral for kids. Throughout the course of the film, Greg makes some pretty bad decisions in order to make himself more popular, and he has to directly deal with the consequences. But among all that, there are plenty of silly situations that kids will recognize from the books, like the trick-or-treating scene, and the scene with the Cheese Touch. There’s also plenty of gross-out humor, thanks to Fregley, that’s perfect for the film’s target audience. Adults will be amused as well by the kids antics, and by the perfect casting of Steve Zahn and Rachael Harris and Greg’s parents. The child cast does well too, especially Chloe Mertz (the upcoming Let Me In) who plays voice of reason Angie Stedman. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a great film for adults to enjoy with their kids, wimpy or not.
Director: Thor Freudenthal Notable Cast:Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn, Chloe Mertz, Zachary Gordon Writer(s): Jackie Filgo, Jeff Filgo
Jenny is proud to be the First Lady of Inside Pulse Movies. She gives female and mommy perspective, and has two kids who help with rating family movies. (If they don't like 'em, what's the point?) She prefers horror movies to chick flicks, and she can easily hang with the guys as long as there are several frou-frou girlie drinks to be had.