There are two movie reviewers who I find reliable and helpful: Jeff Vice and Eric Snider. I always agree with them. I choose only to see movies they really like. That said, I LOVED Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
Had I read reviews before spontaneously taking my kids to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid yesterday I probably wouldn't have gone. I hate sitting through a bad movie and kids' movies are no exception. Seeing a dumb cartoon with my kids because they really want to is just not one of the sacrifices of parenthood I'm prepared to make. (That's why I'll never see Squequel.) Life's too short, people.
The first day of spring break we saw How to Train your Dragon. That movie has gotten great reviews and I have to admit that reading the reviews beforehand primed me to like it. It is good. I did like it. The voices, in particular, are quite well-done and the story is compelling. I enjoy a good taming sequence just like I enjoy a good make-over sequence.
The next day we saw Diary of a Wimpy Kid and I loved it. We've read all the books. They are hands down the funniest books I've ever read. I mean, they are genuinely funny. And the movie is funny and well-done, too. I really think it's good. But it's gotten bad reviews and is criticized for the dumb, low, bathroom humor. This hurts my feelings. I laughed out loud through the whole thing and I pride myself on my tasteful, smart sense of humor! Critics say the main character, Greg, is unlikeable. But how do you portray an authentic 7th grade boy without making him unlikeable? And I mean that in the best way. (My son is in 7th grade so I know whereof I speak.) I think Greg is not only likable but entirely lovable. One way of negotiating childhood and Middle School in particular is to adopt some jerk-like qualities: cheating, lying, blowing off unpopular friends, over-confidence, self-importance, trying too hard, etc. He does the right thing in the end. What more could you ask for? And every character, though perhaps a cliche, has an exact dead-on correspondent in my son's real life, which makes it all even funnier.
So, for what it's worth I give both these movies a thumbs up.