47 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Fun, Funny, But...,
This review is from: Diary of a Wimpy Kid (DVD)
For pure entertainment and a basic feel good message about popularity and real friendship, Diary of a Wimpy Kid delivers.
Most kids are going to eat up the bathroom and booger humor (sorry about the pun). Most will love the problems Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) gets himself into. There were some pretty hysterical and absurd moments that made me laugh out loud. Lots and lots of physical humor and lots and lots of bad ideas. Greg eventually learns some important lessons like real friends trump popularity and popularity isn't everything especially if it costs your self-respect and good friends. However, Greg does a little bit of damage while getting to the lessons.
Parents may want to consider that this movie contains a few subtle negative messages. First, there are the parental units who are generally clueless. Now, for most older kids to teens this is a real fantasy -- who doesn't want to do what they want to do when they want to do it? Who wants rules and parents sticking their noses in and redirecting or handing out consequences? The more parents are portrayed that way, though, I wonder if kids begin to chafe even more against their own parents who might not be so easy going or easily fooled. I know most kids do know movies from reality. But the more that stereotype is tossed out there the more I wonder if that's not part of the "but everyone's doing it, Mom." mentality.
The older brother, Roderick, is a completely mean-spirited jerk. And in some of Greg's dealings with the world it almost feels like he has picked up some lessons from Roderick. The leading female within Greg's class is so annoying I wonder how she could be popular, oh, yes, it's because she threatens everyone. Some of the light-hearted fun is hobbled because of these characters and their excessive meanness. Some remarks made my two friends flinch. Roderick has a biker babe magazine under his bed and it appears in a few scenes. His mother confronts him about the disrespect he's shown all womankind while his friends laugh during the confrontation.
Aside from the parental warnings, it's-a-laugh-a-scene movie that most older kids will enjoy.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 22, 2010 10:29:49 PM PDT
Rob Gordon says:
I think the age group this movie was filmed for is quite ready to handle whatever 'negative messages' it might convey. Hyperdramatic silliness and exaggerated stereotypes are the bread and butter of this kind of fare. Plus, kids ARE mean. If you want, you could even call it a touch of realism.
Posted on Aug 23, 2010 4:19:23 AM PDT
Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts, Rob.
Posted on Sep 27, 2010 3:06:57 PM PDT
Bryan J. Kautzman says:
I think that there were a few nuggets of parental wisdom, though. I can't remember exactly how it went, but there was a scene where Greg asked his mother what to do without being overly specific. His mother's response, I think, was pretty good for a parent of a kid that age. She said (paraphrase) to do what he felt was right in his heart, but to remember that those decisions define who he is. Now, of course, Greg took that the wrong way, but being pretty close to an 11 year-old nephew, I think that particular turn of events was very realistic (and quite funny in a dark-humor sort of way).
I think that if kids watch this movie and understand it, there are some lessons about life put forth in a way that is very relevent to the age group it is intended for. The key, though, is understanding it. I watched the movie with my nephew, and we talked about it afterwards. He got the message.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 27, 2010 7:51:39 PM PDT
Thanks for your comment, Bryan.
I agree with you that there were some moments where the parents came through for the kids : ) and there were definitely some life lessons! And I think it's awesome that you took the time to discuss the movie with your nephew. That makes you a great uncle!
Posted on Nov 16, 2010 6:54:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 16, 2010 6:55:00 PM PST
"The older brother, Roderick, is a completely mean-spirited jerk. And in some of Greg's dealings with the world it almost feels like he has picked up some lessons from Roderick." - Actually, this is exactly the feeling I get from the books too. Greg can be kind of mean-spirited, and as I read the book I got the feeling that he used to be more sensitive than his older brother, but was conditioned to become this way because of Rodrick's treatment of him.
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 17, 2010 4:46:00 AM PST
Thanks for taking the time to comment...HL. I haven't read the books, but it's good to know that the movie is close on that aspect of the story.
Posted on Feb 4, 2011 11:39:12 AM PST
I in fact as a parent had one of the "mean girls" right in my own home. The meaner she was, the more the kids followed her. Even so far as turning most of the junior high against one new teacher causing her to almost quit. I witnessed this and no matter how much we brought "good girl" morals to the table, or even consequenses, she got too much of a following to care. As for the "learning from older siblings"-again, pure fact as this does happen, and hopefully the parents arent blind and can help. I saw the younger children respond to the respect "the mean one" got and had a hard time redirecting. Again, I disagree that those characters are a negative showing as I would rather watch a movie and bring this to my kids attention than to have to live it like we did.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2011 11:58:43 AM PST
Isevenish, you bring up an excellent point. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Child-rearing is not for the weak-stomached. And what works for one, is almost guaranteed to not work for the others. And society is generally a non-respecter of parents.
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