An eleven-year-old named Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) is about to begin middle school and wishes to become popular among the students. However, his attempts to gain fame land him in hilariously sticky situations.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series has always held a special place in my heart, ever since I saw the original film back when it was released on DVD a decade ago. Just saying how old it is feels unbelievable. I remember watching it for the first time and thinking it was hilarious. As a ten-year-old, it was my favorite movie ever. It perfectly encapsulated childlike wonder and innocence and was one of those films that really the whole family could enjoy, although children are definitely going to get a kick out of it more than grown adults will.
But seeing as how it turns ten this year, I figured I would go ahead and give it a rewatch to see if it still holds up all these years later, and much to my delight, it does. This is one of the most easily digestible and entertaining children’s films of all-time. It’s only an hour and thirty minutes long and is crammed with loads of scenes that are almost always funny and did put a smile on my face.
Like I said earlier, it isn’t as enjoyable as it was for me when I was a ten-year-old, but really, that was expected. The comedy that I deeply love now is not the same comedy that I appreciated when I was a little kid going into middle school for the first time. That being said though, I was laughing and smiling practically throughout the entire film. Rewatching this film brought back a lot of good memories and gave me an extreme sense of nostalgia, but putting the nostalgia aside, I still greatly enjoy this movie.
One of the strongest aspects to Diary of a Wimpy Kid is its cast. Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron in particular are genuinely perfect for the roles of Greg Heffley and Rowley Jefferson respectively. They bring an amazing sense of energy and likeability to their roles that no other actors have been able to do the same way they did. Back in 2017, a reboot of sorts to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid franchise was released in theatres with the subtitle The Long Haul, but it replaced every cast member from the original trilogy of films with new actors.
Understandably, a lot of people were upset and annoyed with this decision, as was I. I get why they did it; the actors that played the roles in the original films are simply far too old to be playing middle schoolers now. If you look up pictures of Gordon and Capron now, they look like college students, so there is no way they could play middle schoolers again and make it convincing. That being said though, everybody had a hard time getting into Jason Drucker as Greg and Charlie Wright as Rodrick in particular. Gordon and Capron in the original film are simply lightning in a bottle.
This movie is definitely not perfect though. Its screenplay, while funny, doesn’t really have a lot of meat on its bones. It’s incredibly easy to watch, but it won’t leave you thinking about it or anything like that. But this is a film aimed towards children and is based on a book series of the same name, and as far as book to film adaptations go, this one is highly accurate.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a hugely enjoyable and genuinely funny children’s film with memorable performances from Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron.
Overall Grade: B
MPAA Rating: PG for some rude humor and language
Directed by: Thor Freudenthal
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: March 19, 2010
Running Time: 92 minutes