Who says PG-rated comedies can't be funny? Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which has no big stars, is made for children and is based on a youth book series, has no right appealing to adults, but it does. Now out on DVD and Blu-Ray, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is one of the funniest and most enjoyable movies of 2010.
Based on the first book by author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid follows young Greg (Zachary Gordon) through his first year of middle skill. A scrawny kid who thinks he has more potential to be cool than most would give him credit for, he reluctantly befriends chubby Rowley (Robert Capron) - or, rather, Rowley befriends him - and sets out to become popular. Unfortunately, at every turn he encounters some challenge that drives him the other direction.
Oh, and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) is in the movie, too!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid works on several levels. It's one of the most innocent and honest comedies to be produced in some time, even though there are plenty of physical gags that, if done wrong, would cause the movie to be just like dozens of other forgettable kids movies that parents roll their eyes at. It's hard to describe, but the jokes that come off as absurd elsewhere work perfectly here. Director Thor Freudenthal (Hotel for Dogs) finds that humorous balance youth tends to offer; Greg maneuvers his way from one incident to the next, each one a little over the top and yet in the scheme of things each resonates with real experiences we've all had.
The movie rests largely on the shoulders of Gordon and Capron, both aged 12. Gordon proves he has the charm and timing to lead a movie such as this, and Capron makes for the perfect sidekick. They have great chemistry together and Capron is especially funny.
There's not much more else to say. Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a surprisingly funny movie the whole family will enjoy. It offers legitimate comedy from beginning to end, and despite its PG rating, Diary of a Wimpy Kid shows it can play with the big boys.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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