Diary of Wimpy Kid is a family movie DVD based on a book written by Jeff Kinney. This is a nice little movie geared towards pre-teens heading into middle school. Younger kids might not get all the messages about fitting in and being, but they will get some of the other humour in the movie. All of my kids really liked the movie and were quick to point out Greg's shortcomings. We had quite a lengthy discussion about how to be a good friend. This is a family movie worth watching as a family to have lots of talks.
It is the story of Greg Heffley (played by Zachary Gordon), a pre-teen going into middle school, his struggles with trying to fit in, and how he deals with friendships at this tumultuous time in his life. He is tortured by his much older brother Roderick, his kindergarten rival Peggy, and eventually by his own choices as he tries to fit in.
Greg Heffley is determined not only to fit in at middle school, but to be really popular there as well. He is so determined to be the popular kid, that he is willing to totally change himself, and wants his best friend Rowley to completely change as well. Rowley (played to perfection by Robert Capron), it must be said, is very young in spirit. What do I mean by that? Well Rowley is a kid who in middle school asks Greg if he wants to come over after school "to play"...this is, of course, not what you do in middle school ("hang out" is the appropriate term). Greg constantly feels embarrassed by Rowley and his babyish, un-cool ways. Their friendship eventually crumbles when Greg can't deal with the fact that Rowley had been chosen (instead of Greg) to write the comic strip for the school newspaper.
The acting in Diary of a Wimpy Kid is great - Gordon as Greg really cues into the desperate feeling of wanting to be popular. Devon Bostick, as Roderick, Greg's older brother is excellently cruel. And as mentioned earlier, Capron, as Rowley, is very good.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a story that is full of messages. The predominant message is: be yourself. Rowley is the perfect example. He doesn't change, and is eventually accepted for who he is (although, it seems that to him it doesn't really matter if he is accepted or not, which may really be the key here); whereas Greg tries so hard to fit in that nobody accepts him. Another message is about how to be a good friend. Greg learns the hard way that being a friend has nothing to do with changing your friend, but appreciating them for who they really are.
Fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid will be happy to learn Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2 - Roderick Rules is scheduled for 2011