Saturday, September 25, 2021

MOVIE REVIEWS: “DIARY OF A WIMPY KID”

March 19, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid may seem like the least likely of the new films to succeed at the box office this weekend, but it’s drawing the most enthusiastic reviews. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times begins his review this way: “It is so hard to do a movie like this well. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” is a PG-rated comedy about the hero’s first year of middle school, and it’s nimble, bright and funny. It doesn’t dumb down. It doesn’t patronize. It knows something about human nature.” Lou Lumenick in the New York Post describes it as “an above-average and sometimes surprising kid movie based on the first of a popular series of cartoon books by Jeff Kinney.” It’s always “tricky” trying to do such adaptations, Nancy Churnin notes in the Dallas Morning News. “Not only are you tampering with the images readers have in their minds, but in the case of Wimpy Kid, the challenge is amped up by having to adapt Kinney’s winsome stick-figure drawings to live-action people. Fortunately the casting is picture-perfect.” Other critics who compare the movie with the books are less impressed, indeed outright scornful. Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune writes, “An astonishing percentage of the books’ appeal has vanished. … Redone for the real world, with real actors and a serious lack of wit, Wimpy Kid is no longer special.” Adds A.O. Scott in the New York Times: “The problem is that in dutifully transferring to the screen Mr. Kinney’s comical episodes … the director, Thor Freudenthal (Hotel for Dogs), and the four credited screenwriters have stripped away nearly all the humor, insight and energy.”