Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Greg Heffley is about to start middle school. But big brother Rodrick warns it's not going to be pretty -- he'll either be dead or homeschooled by the end of the year. So Greg decides he has to make sure middle school is going to be awesome. And to do that, he has to be popular. But how does he do that?
This movie, based on a hit book series of the same name, is about a boy of unfortunately puny stature named Greg Heffley. He is about to begin his first year of middle school. At the request of his mother, Greg's older brother gives Greg a long list of advice, all of which begins with "Don't." Greg decides the secret to happiness in middle school is popularity and an award in the yearbook. "With" his best friend Rowley, he sets out to do just that.
Greg was not an easy main character to root for. He was selfish. He was self-centered. He was self-absorbed. Well, you get the point. And it's not even as if his flaws had likable motivations behind them: he just wanted to be popular, and his approach to the top was to step on everyone at the bottom. When things for Greg went from bad to worse, I felt like he deserved it. When we finally saw something he was good at, it was satisfying he didn't get to cash in on it. When his life fell apart, I knew it was his own fault. How do you like that karma, Greg?
The best character in the film was Rowley. He's sweet, kind, and brilliantly naïve. His mother told him, "Be yourself and everyone will like you," and he took it to heart, "Me and My Mom" t-shirt and sparkly pink and purple bicycle included. Greg is skeptical of Rowley's approach to happiness in middle school, and I was skeptical, too, but it wasn't long before Rowley's pleasant disposition and ability to let things roll off his back won me over completely. By the end of the movie, I wasn't rooting for Greg at all – I was rooting for Rowley. I just wanted Rowley to be happy.
As for the actual plot of the movie, it hit all the typical middle school comedy topics: the cafeteria, the new grown-up lingo, the bathrooms, girls, Safeties, bullies, siblings, school dances, clothes, etc. However, rather than being stale, the movie was amusing. I loved the mythology of The Cheese Touch (poor German exchange student!). One of my favorite parts was when they showed before and after pictures between elementary school and middle school. The students really do change that much!
One of my other favorite parts of the movie was Rowley and Greg's banter. Rowley is so easy-going and Greg is down-right almost evil. Here's an example where Greg wants to teach Rowley to be cool by wearing his backpack on only one shoulder:
Greg: You know what has one strap? Machine guns. You know what else? Electric guitars. You know what else?
To be honest, I didn't expect much from this movie. First, it's based on a book. I'm one of those who just assumes from the start that the book is better. Second, I had heard it wasn't that good. Still, I thought I might be amused anyway. And I was! The movie was goofy and light-hearted. I recommend it to anyone who has been through middle school who wants to chill for a couple hours on the couch and giggle at boys who chase people around with boogers. We all knew a kid like that. It's almost not even about the movie itself, but the memories we relive while watching. There's subtle humor for the adults and plenty of gag humor for the rest of us. Maybe you won't be holding your sides together from laughing so hard, but you WILL be smiling, and that's not so bad.
Hi, anyone who watches this movie is a fabulous person in the world!
by Danielle, age 11
I wish I could have seen the movie. It looked really good. :-\
For more resources on this book, the series, or Marlene Wallach, visit these sites:
The main character
Greg's best friend
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