DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
AUGUST 6, 2010

Send me back to sixth grade, at twelve years old, and “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” would have been my favorite film. My admiration for the film, it appears, even resonates as an adult. The heart of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” is in the right place, with humor and friendship playing the biggest role. The child actors play their roles with a confidence lacking in even the most seasoned of veterans. Though the gimmicks fall into the deep childish end, the humor still reaches an adult level.

A meld of Nickelodeon’s “Good Burger” and the children novels “The Classroom at the End of the Hall” by Douglas Evans, the film follows the nerdiest kids in middle school, led by Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon). Greg is trying to make a name for himself in the first days of middle school, by joining the wrestling team, becoming a hall monitor, and casting his old friends down the proverbial river, all in attempts to make it in the “favorites” page of the end of the year, yearbook. Plagued by out-of-touch friends Rowley (Robert Capron) and Fregley (Grayson Russell), Greg must not only find a way to make himself cool but redecorate his friends as well.

The film is packed with morals. Most abundant are the morals to “be yourself”, something each one of the characters tries to embrace in one another. Greg’s parents played by Rachael Harris and Steve Zahn advocate these morals while Greg’s older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick) plays devil’s advocate and aims to ruin his younger brother’s social status.

Along the way, Greg meets seventh-grader Angie (Chloë Moretz) who is smitten by the company of Greg and his unique view on the world, but as he slowly loses himself in the rigor of becoming accepted, Angie pulls her friendship away. “Kick-Ass” actress Chloe Moretz proves she is a twenty-something-year-old residing inside a thirteen-year-old body. Her dialogue delivery and acting prowess appear beyond her years, proving her performance in “Kick-Ass” was not completely due to great writing and directing. Moretz continues to amaze in each one of her roles and will, without a doubt, be a major player in the years to come.

Though “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” aims more at the younger demographic with an odd “Cheese Touch” obsession and confusing “Zoo-Wee-Mama” comic strip, the film still reaches the adult level of hilarity and forces the viewer to feel twelve years old again. Based on a series of books of the same title by Jeff Kinney, the drawings from said books find their way into the film and add a nice, original touch, reincarnating the likes of “Harriet The Spy” and other Nickelodeon greats.

Better suited for a television show rather than a film, “Diary of a Wimpy” Kid still does not disappoint. Any film that can be enjoyed by pre-teens, teens and adults alike has earned a sense of accomplishment. Zachary Gordon’s confidence in front of the camera fitted with Robert Capron’s unwittingly perfect comedic timing (“Greg: Here he comes just be cool. Hey! Rowley: Yeah, cute butt!”), makes for the greatest of young buddy comedies since “The Little Rascals.”

RELEASE DATE
March 19, 2010

DIRECTOR
Thor Freudenthal

WRITTEN BY
Jackie Filgo
Jeff Filgo
Jeff Judah
Gabe Sachs

BASED ON
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid”
by Jeff Kinney

STUDIO
20th Century Fox

PG
(for some rude humor and language)

COMEDY
DRAMA
FAMILY

94 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Jack N. Green

COMPOSER
Theodore Shapiro

EDITOR
Wendy Greene Bricmont

CAST
Zachary Gordon
Robert Capron
Rachael Harris
Steve Zahn
Chloë Grace Moretz

PRODUCED BY
Nina Jacobson
Brad Simpson

BUDGET
$15 million

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