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Diary of a Wimpy Kid



Released: 8th March 2010

Director:Thor Freudenthal

Stars: Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Rachael Harris


Reviewer: Matthew Coates

We all love to see movies that bring us back to the times when we were a kid. Fond memories of friends we no longer see bring us comfort as we reflect back from our extremely busy lives. ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ attempts to put us into the world of a middle-schooler who doesn’t fit into his surroundings. Although its intentions were honorable the execution of the director’s message was cloudy at best.

Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) is entering 6th grade, a new era where he will be thrown into the clique society of middle school. Images from his diary (which he stresses is actually a journal) highlights his story, and shares the cartoony pencil-drawn people in the popular books. His older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) is your typical pain-in-the-butt sibling, just looking out for himself.

Being a smaller guy he is subject to the standard razzing from coaches and fellow students. His only ally is best friend and social anomaly Rowley (Robert Capron), a good-natured jubilant “husky” kid that sticks to just being himself to win friends. Greg wants to be popular and goes about finding a vehicle through the school to allow him to do just that, wrestling. Deterred after finding out that it’s nothing like WWF, he finds his calling with the school safety patrol along with Rowley- little does he know that this isn’t going to get him the attention he really wants. Rowley works his way up the social ranks because of sympathy from fellow students over his broken hand and kind spirit, and Greg decides to take the selfish route and get Rowley kicked off the patrol for something Greg did. The plot takes us through other events in which Greg tries to

“one-up” his now former friend Rowley (upset over the safety patrol) and then eventually does something honorable, after which all is forgiven and the friends reunite.

‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ has its comedic moments, such as Greg’s one-minute morning routine, his run-in with his brother in the bathroom, and the potty monster bit with his younger brother. Zachary Gordon was somewhat likable, but I almost feel like he was miscast, as there wasn’t depth in his performance. Of course, a middle-school boy doesn’t offer much depth. There were many times when the character was vindictive and deceptive to gain popularity, which not only backfired but left me feeling resentful, something you don’t want in your protagonist. Even when he and Rowley made up there was the lingering bad taste you often have after you get rid of something unpleasant.

The focus wasn’t on Greg but rather what was happening around him. Too many other components were given more weight that drew our interest away from the main character. The fight scene at the school play and the mother/son dance were plain obnoxious. I didn’t find anything special about this movie that I haven’t seen in many other pre-teen comedies about trying to find your place and fit in. Even Greg’s empassioned speech at the end failed to have any authenticity. The actors that played the older kids chasing them were 3rd rate cliches. Capron and minor character Fregley each have funny and endearing performances, which kept their scenes worth watching. Rachel Harris and Steve Zahn gave very convincing performances, as realistic and practical parents- definitely the short highlight of the movie.

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