Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Identity Crisis

By August 6, 2012Movie Reviews

What? WHAT!? Really? This is a movie? Where’s the story? It’s all over the place! There’s no beginning, middle, or end: it never starts! You think it’s going to be about pre-teen Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) trying to win over the heart of his middle school crush, sweetheart Holly Hills (Peyton List), but what’s there to win over? The girl’s a perfect little angel with a cherry on top; compassionate, understanding, polite, attentive, beautiful, and what’s best, or, err, what’s WORST for the movie: she digs the wimp from day one! What’s the point of embarking in this “hell” of a dog day journey when you’re sitting next to these completely and utterly drab characters? “Hello? Mr. and Mrs. Hollywood? Yes, this is Monica Terada calling to file a complaint regarding the total lack of lucidness, which has seemingly bewitched your souls. What? No soul, you say? Hmm…”

I swear I tried to like this movie…cross my heart and hope to live for a better one. You think I enjoy writing bad reviews? There is nothing that I enjoy more than to fill up an entire page with vapid, mediocre praises to those well deserving, honorable Hollywood movies that, well, seemingly no longer inhabit our planet.

Whatever happened to scenes that move the plot forward, scenes that reveal character? This movie is a gigantic compilation of pointless scenes! I’m tormented by this little annoying vibration running through my veins, which I can’t exactly describe in words, but I’ll try anyways.

As an avid movie viewer/cinema geek/nerd, whatever you want to call it, I’ve seen my share of good, bad, and ugly films. It must be understood, a hard-core movie lover such as myself acquires a certain sensitivity for films that is ungraspable to the average once-a-month “let’s watch a movie just for fun” movie goer. Just for fun!? Pfft…a movie isn’t fun! A movie is a very serious business. A movie is a seductive temptress attempting to show her legs at the right moments—i.e., beguile your audience, lead them on, hit your plot points, or, honey, you’re out!

What is the POINT of this movie? First of all, the kid is anything but a wimp: totally defeating the purpose of the film’s title/purpose of the entire series/ and, ultimately, the boy’s purpose in having a diary to begin with! I mean, would a wimp attempt a high dive from a country club pool which he sneaks into every single day by creating fake identities in order to cover up his lie to his parents about getting a summer job, JUST to show off to his Little Miss America crush? No!

Although there are some almost slightly cute moments and genuine attempts to pass on good values, ladies and gentlemen, ‘tis a thin line between cute and pathetic/touching and corny! Cute is not for just anyone, in fact, cute is probably one of the hardest characteristics to pull off: a very subtle childlike demeanor shaken with a shot of naiveté and topped with a splash of honesty: phew, tough!

Our movie’s protagonists weren’t quite cute, but since I’m in a particularly good mood today I’ll be nice and say they weren’t pathetic either, just terrifically dreary. Not to mention dumb. Sorry, it’s a personal pet peeve of mine: dumb is NOT funny! Ughhh…why must movies insist on portraying dumb as funny? Wimpy kid’s moronic older brother, Rodrick Heffley (Devon Bostick), brings home a food bowl for the family’s newly adopted dog, “Sweetie”, but misspells the name, writing “Sweaty” instead. Even after dad, (Steve Zahn), attempts to point it out to him, his slow-witted mind is unable to grasp the mistake. Sadly, this reflects the reality of many of our society’s teenage kids, in other words, IT’S NOT FUNNY!

There is one interesting point about the movie that I would like to point out however. I really liked how it didn’t focus primarily on the classic teenager social groups: preps, jocks, nerds, losers, etc. It slightly touched upon some of the groups, but didn’t overdo it. It reminds us that we can explore a different world and all mingle and see what new tensions arise from there. This movie tries to do that, but in the end the essential movie tension is missing which makes it tedious. Our characters need to have more personality, more complications, and more tension to make their lives more absorbing. Entice us Ms. Hollywood Temptress: show us your sexy legs! 

Tried to love it, tried to like it, tried really hard to empathize with these almost cute kids, but, unfortunately, it was missing a little bit of this, a little bit of that…so… my final verdict is: meh.