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April 2, 2010

Wimpy Kid Review

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Carol’s a huge fan of the Wimpy Kid books, so I was hoping she and I would both be able to attend the special preview of the movie held last Thursday night in Times Square in New York. Unfortunately, she’s traveling to the West Coast on business, so I was on my own for the movie. It might have been a good thing, because I ended up enjoying myself immensely and laughing hysterically.

Based on the bestselling books by Jeff Kinney, Wimpy Kid stars Zachary Gordon as Greg Hefley, a young kid about to embark on his first year in middle school along with his best friend, Rowley. Both Greg and Rowley rank quite low on the popularity scale, but Greg has plans to change that. He expects he’ll be the most popular kid in school in no time, thanks to his charm and talent, both of which will ensure his premium placement in the school yearbook. Life, and other things (like bullies, a mean older brother, snooty girls, and the obligations of being a decent and trustworthy friend) soon intervene, though, and Greg finds himself facing not only the bottom of the popularity meter—but also facing it alone.

And so we join Greg for his first year of middle school, all the ups and downs of it, and we laugh at the quite funny (and sometimes touching) moments he endures (the impromptu Halloween trip through Devil Worshipers’ Woods is a highlight; so is a musical rendition of The Wizard of Oz that Greg joins in an effort to gain popularity). Fans of the Wimpy Kid books will be pleased to see that the movie hews close to the source material while giving it a celluloid life all its own. Even better, though, at least for me, was the discovery that the movie had a sensibility that even adults could easily love.