Diary of a Wimpy Kid will appeal to fans of the book

“This is a journal, not a diary,” says scrawny, undersized Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) at the start of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, an adaptation of Jeff Kinney’s popular illustrated novel series. As it turns out, that’s the least of his problems. As Greg starts middle school, he becomes obsessed with being liked and is suddenly conscious of the fact that his portly pal Rowley Jefferson (Robert Capron) isn’t the hippest kid to have as a best friend. And then there’s the fact that his older rock star wannabe brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) is constantly picking on him. His parents (Rachael Harris and Steve Zahn) aren’t any help, either, and don’t always support his decisions. So in the attempt to be cool, Greg tries out for the wrestling team. When that doesn’t go so well, he auditions for the school play. He can actually carry a tune but when he gets a role as a singing tree it doesn’t help his self-esteem. In making Greg a flawed hero who struggles with his selfish impulses, director Thor Freudenthal (Hotel for Dogs) stays true to the book’s spirit and even explains the basis of the “Cheese Touch.” Cute to a fault, the film has some truly funny moments and should appeal to the book’s many fans. ***

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Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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