'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' - Strong movie

Kevin Thomas's picture

***1/2 stars

It seems that every time a person writes a book and it makes the best sellers list, a movie is made out of it a few years later. It can be good or bad. With “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” it’s good.

The story is that Greg, a small boy going into middle school, is trying to find his place in a society. This isn’t easy, especially since his best friend, Rowley, still acts and dresses like an elementary school kid. To add to the pressure, Greg’s big brother, Rodrick, always tells him to lay low and not to do anything at the school.

Greg and Rowley meet Angie, a girl on the school paper, who explains middle school to them. Greg then makes up several plans to move him and Rowley up on the popularity scale. Meanwhile, they have to deal with Patti, a girl with a large grudge against Greg and Fregley, a boy who gives a new meaning to the word “nerdy.”

I first got my hands on this book in a doctor’s office while waiting and was entertained. I did not finish the book but liked it very much. The movie is very funny and the acting is done quite well. And unlike real life middle schools, this one doesn’t have kids calling each other gay all the time. No one in middle school is like Greg, to my knowledge. As for Rowley, well this movie is the only place where you will find a kid riding a pink bike and owning a shirt that says “Me and my Mommy.” Kudos to Devon Bostic, who played Rodrick, the meanest, yet still likeable older brother I have ever seen. Steve Zahn, who played Greg’s father, also did a good job.

Though a kid’s film, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” has a very high level of imitative behaviors and attitudes. In the beginning of the film, a shirtless Rodrick puts Greg’s head underneath his arm. Also, Greg and Rowley have a game where one of them throws something at the other one while he’s riding a bike. Mild profanity (God, crap) is used occasionally. Rodrick also videotapes some embarrassing footage of Greg at the school play near the end.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” is something both non-wimpy kids and adults will enjoy.

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