Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Starring Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, and Steve Zahn
Directed by Thor Freudenthal (Hotel for Dogs)
Rated PG for some rude humor and language
Appropriate for all ages
Based on the Jeff Kinney book, Diary tells the story of Greg (Gordon), an undergrown, yet-to-achieve greatness pre-teen that desperately wants to find his place to fit in. Together with his best friend, the far too friendly and eager Rowley (Capron) the two set off to make their way through the history of their middle school.
Having never read or even heard of the book, the only preconceived notion I had going into this film was that I hoped it ended quickly and painlessly. But then something came over me and I found myself kind of liking it. The story is written to be mostly enjoyed by kids, but is also put together so it can be appreciated and even somewhat enjoyed by adults as well.
That’s not to say it’s a great film. There are lots of silly, eye-rolling moments that I would have loved to have not seen, most notably a Beastie Boys dance sequence involving Rowly and his mother that will leave a permanent scar in my psyche.
What really works most is the great chemistry between Gordon and Capron. This very talented duo stirred up thoughts of what Steve Martin and John Candy might have been like had they teamed up long ago as twelve-year-old boys.
The real litmus test though is with the kids in the audience and the theater I was in was full of them. They seemed to be having a ball. They were fully engaged, laughing, and all the while convincing me that kids are going to love this film. B