UK Release Date: 20th August 2010
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 7th April 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Having been advised by many (mostly online) that this is a good film I decided to give it the once over. As usual, it wasn’t until afterwards that I checked the internet out to see how it fared in the rankings. Well, I have to say, on this occasion, I pretty much agree (score-wise) with the consensus. While not being great (it’s no ‘Home Alone’ that’s for sure), it’s also not as bad as it might have been. I will give you more of my thoughts after this brief summary.
Greg Heffley is just about to start middle school when we meet him. The film plots his life through that first year and we experience the many trials and tribulations he goes through. His best friend, Rowley, is also starting the same school and Greg is worried; mainly because Rowley hasn’t matured enough to be at middle school (in Greg’s opinion). This has some quite amusing consequences as Greg attempts to climb the popularity ladder (and usually fails). Other people to look out for are; Greg’s older brother Rodrick, he’s always trying to ‘advise’ Greg. There’s also the older woman (girl), the smart and witty Angie Steadman, who, for reasons best known to himself, Greg wants nothing to do with. Finally there’s Fregley, the lowest of the low, Chirag Gupta, even lower (height-wise) and the ever ambitious and precocious, Patty Farrell. I’ll leave it there or the Spoiler Police will be lowering my status on the social ladder (and we all know how important status is!... Don’t we?).
Quite well made although I did have the feeling I was watching one of those kids TV shows set in a school (there are many). Production values aside, I did like the use of the occasional cartoon to illustrate a point, if anything, I would have liked a few more of these. Performance-wise, I thought everybody did a decent job and so I’ll give honourable mentions to; Zachary Gordon as Greg Heffley, Robert Capron (who I really liked) as Rowley Jefferson, Devon Bostick as Rodrick Heffley, Chloë Grace Moretz (woefully underused) as Angie Steadman, Karan Brar as Chirag Gupta, Grayson Russell as Fregley and Laine MacNeil as Patty Farrell.
Never having read the books (I’m neither young nor American), I don’t feel inspired to do so on this evidence. Don’t get me wrong, the film was OK, but no more than that. I found the character of Greg was far too self centred and would go to almost any lengths to make himself look good, or at least not look bad. Now to some, that’s funny, but to me, I’m afraid it’s pretty lame and quite sad. Even so, there were some good points; I did like the ‘Cheese Touch’ story for instance and the way Rowley gets ahead by just being himself. Over all, a film that had some bad points and some good; I probably wouldn’t watch it again, but I may watch the sequel when it makes it to TV-land, just to see if Rowley ever grows up.
My Score: 6.0/10
IMDb Score: 6.1/10 (based on 12,287 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Tomatometer’ Score: 53/100 (based on 103 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 48/100 (based on 95,500 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
If you’re crazy enough… You can find me on Facebook at:
Greg Heffley: [looking at class favourites] The class favourites.
[opening the section]
Greg Heffley: They're the best in their class. These people aren't nobodies. They're famous. They don't have to worry about getting a seat in the cafeteria, either. Check this out. There's tons of things I qualify for: "Most Likely to Succeed", "Best Looking", "Class Clown". They should just give that to me right now.
Rowley Jefferson: Don't you have to be funny for that?
[spotting something in the section]
Rowley Jefferson: Hey! We can try for cutest friends!
Greg Heffley: I need something to make me a class favourite.
Angie Steadman: What about class favourites?
Greg Heffley: Don't you ever say hi or hello before you start talking?
Rowley Jefferson: [waves] Hi!
Angie Steadman: Hello.
Rowley Jefferson: Greg is only here because he wants to get into.
Greg Heffley: [interrupts] Rowley! I was just saying that I would really like to nail these people because it's so obvious they're only doing these activities to get into the yearbook.
Angie Steadman: You know, I like your point of view. You should sign up for the school paper. We are the voice of the people. Well, the people are mostly idiots so technically speaking we're the voice of the people making fun of the people.
Greg Heffley: Thanks, but I can't be on the paper because I'm going to be in the paper a lot. It would be a conflict of interest.
Angie Steadman: [nods] You're the people. Got it.
Patty Ferrell: This has got to be the worst fight ever!
Rowley Jefferson: [last lines] Zoo-Wee-Mama!
(Note: All were working at the time of going to press)
Official Site: http://www.diaryofawimpykidmovie.com/