Director: Thor Freudenthal
Writer: Jackie Filgo/Jeff Filgo/Jeff Judah/Gabe Sachs
Based on a novel by: Jeff Kinney
Producers: Nina Jacobson/Brad Simpson/Ethan Smith/Jeff Kinney
Starring: Zachary Gordon/Robert Capron/Chloe Moretz/Steve Zahn
BBFC Certification: PG
Duration: 92 minutes
We’ve all been that age when we start school, nervous because everything is new and everybody you knew has changed and you get to the stage where you want to stand out from the other kids and look cool. Well, that is what Diary of a Wimpy Kid is all about. The movie is about Greg who would do anything to be on the top of the ‘most popular’ list in school no matter what, even if it means hurting his friends to get there. Diary of a Wimpy Kid has a very simple plot and the movie is almost forgettable as soon as it’s finished. The story itself is mediocre and too simple but then again, this is supposed to be a children’s-slash-family movie so you shouldn’t expect any better and it deals with a lot of middle-school (or junior school) issues that most of us have dealt with at some point. The only thing unfortunate about the movie is that the lead character isn’t really likeable at all. In fact, you’re not really bothered about him at all but more concerned about the secondary characters such as his best friend Rowley or Greg’s older brother Rodrick. It seems that the movie has got it wrong where it’s concerned with the characters because it’s actually the lead character who’s one-dimensional and the other characters who have more personality and charm to them. Yeah, I realise that Greg is supposed to be like that but it’s at the cost of his audience being able to like him and relate to him.
The acting is no better either as all of the actors give out a very mediocre performance, even if a couple of the characters were quite funny and charming in a way. There were a few funny scenes in the movie that did surprisingly make you laugh out loud and some of them are even memorable but it’s really just either gross-out humour or the kind of humour that makes you embarrassed for the characters in the movie. Diary of a Wimpy Kid isn’t so bad overall but there are better family movies out there that do have great character development and strong messages. The movie doesn’t have a lot of character development and even though it’s clear what the message is supposed to be, the way it’s shown is quite weak and not so obvious at times because of the humour.
Unfortunately, Diary of a Wimpy Kid isn’t a great movie but it’s good enough to watch once with the family. It may have a mediocre story and some of the characters may not be likeable but there are plenty of laughs and there are a few times when the movie can be charming. I’m not sure whether adults would like this much but I think children would love this. As for me, I found that it was quite good but it could have been better and there was room for improvement, but this coming from somebody who hasn’t read any of the books. It’s good enough to rent out but I wouldn’t buy it on DVD, it’s one of those movies where you could only watch it once.