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Diary Of A Wimpy Kid
I'll be be famous someday, but for now I'm stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons.
Meet Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon), a young child who is destined for many great things in his life. However, as he even puts it for now, he's stuck in middle school with bunch of morons. Based off the series of novels by Jeff Kinney. "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" tells the story of a young boy named Greg, who struggles adapting to middle school life style as he deals with various issues like girls, trying to become popular, school plays, bullies, wrestling, a conniving older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick), and a family that can sometimes be embarrassing to the poor lad. If those things weren't hectic enough to deal with, Greg and his best friend, Rowley Jefferson (Robert Capron), suffer a severe strain in their friendship. Where it seems in Greg's pursuit of popularity status, he forgets that the most important thing to value in life is friendship. Although this movie isn't exactly a hundred percent faithful to the original source, it's still a fairly decent film. In fact, this is probably one of the few family movies, I wouldn't mind watching again or admitting that I liked. As the humor content is suitable enough for everyone of all ages to enjoy. Besides, who couldn't relate to Greg? A kid just trying to fit in. Like the series of novels, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" has a style and charm of it's own.
Obviously, like all novel adaptations there are always changes to the original story, and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" is certainly no exception to the rule. As there were various things taken out to keep within the movie's ninety minute time frame. Such scenes like the haunted house and the Christmas part of the book, were taken out to conserve time. Just to name a couple of scenes. Plus, it seems the writers felt they had to add a new character into the movie; one that was never in any of the novels thus far.
Which leads us to being introduced to a charming young girl named Angie Steadman (Chloe Moretz), who plays sort of Greg's conscience in the film. Popping out randomly to document some of Greg's more humiliating moments, as she works for the school newspaper. Like Greg, she also dislikes middle school for the exact same reason he does. However, unlike Greg, she's not willing to go through the feats he's willing to become popular, as she enjoys being outside of the social norm. Viewing the whole popularity status as stupid and demeaning (Smart girl. I wish I would've realized that too when I was her age). What strikes me odd about her though is why is she always following both Greg and Rowley around during these key moments? It's almost like she's either stalking them, or she might like one of them. If that being the case, then one would presume Greg would've tried to make a pass at her. After all, that was one of Greg's goals of becoming popular, so he could impress girls. That is assuming I'm not going senile at my old age, and my memory is correct from being a fan of the books. Plus, she's a rather cute girl too, so why wouldn't he hit on her? After all, her presence alone alters the original story anyway, as she was never in the books. I guess the writers and director just added her in to be politically correct. As she doesn't interact with any of the other characters outside of Rowley and Greg that much, throughout the film. Which works perfectly as movie is still able to follow the story line of the book, despite the minor changes.
I'll admit the script is a tad cliched with the would be social outcast protagonist, and the story is fairly predictable even if you haven't read any of the books. However, what I always loved about the book series, it's that "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" has a unique style of story telling of it's own. Needless to say, director, Thor Freduenthal, does a wonderful job recapturing the heart of the books. As they even use various animated references during certain scenes, to pay homage to some of the book's classic and colorful illustrations.
Even the actors do a wonderful portraying the characters, as I felt this film was perfectly cast. Each actor portraying the roles of their perspective characters exactly like the book. As it literally felt like the characters were brought to life.
Although "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" isn't perfect, it's definitely a great family film. Featuring a lot of solid acting performances, and great animated sequences that paid great homage to the book's colorful illustrations were ingenuous, to say the least. Sadly, some fans may not like some of the changes in the film adaptation but if they're like me and willing to give it a chance, they'll find that the movie does a great job recapturing the heart and magic of the books wonderful stories. Indeed, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" movie may not be as deep as the books, but it's definitely a great family film.