Diary of a Wimpy Kid (film)

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Thor Freudenthal
Produced by Nina Jacobson
Brad Simpson
Screenplay by Jackie Filgo
Jeff Filgo

Jeff Judah
Gabe Sachs
Based on Diary of a Wimpy Kid 
by Jeff Kinney
Starring Zachary Gordon
Robert Capron
Rachael Harris
Steve Zahn
Narrated by Zachary Gordon
Music by Theodore Shapiro
Cinematography Jack N. Green
Edited by Wendy Greene Bricmont
Production
company
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
  • March 19, 2010 (2010-03-19)
Running time
92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15 million[1]
Box office $75.7 million[2]

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a 2010 American comedy film directed by Thor Freudenthal and based on Jeff Kinney's book of the same name.[3][4][5] The film stars Zachary Gordon and Devon Bostick. Robert Capron, Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn, and Chloë Grace Moretz also have prominent roles. It is the first film in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film series followed by 2011's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and 2012's Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. It is the only film in the series to be directed by Thor Freudenthal, who was replaced by David Bowers for the next two installments.

Plot[edit]

11-year-old Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) is anxious to start middle school. He lives with his mean older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick), his mother Susan (Rachael Harris), his father Frank (Steve Zahn), and his younger brother Manny. Greg wants to become the most popular student at school, but he's worried that his childish best friend Rowley Jefferson (Robert Capron) will humiliate them both.

During their first day, Greg and Rowley re-encounter Greg's longtime nemesis Patty Farrell (Laine MacNeil), engage in a dangerous game called Gladiator during physical education class, meet a headstrong student named Angie (Chloe Grace Moretz), and from classmate Chirag Gupta (Karan Brar) learn of the Cheese Touch, a pandemic spread by touching a rotting slice of cheese on the basketball court.

Determined to become a class favorite in the yearbook, Greg joins the boys' wrestling team with Rowley. He's humiliated on the first day when loses to Fregley (Grayson Russell), the strangest student at school. He's even more humiliated when he loses to Patty, whose mother threatened to file a lawsuit against the school. The defeat is in the school paper, causing his popularity to plummet.

In an attempt to make Rowley more popular, Greg helps Rowley change his clothing choices, bike, and immature speech. On Halloween that night, the boys get in trouble when they anger a crew of teenagers by accidentally damaging their truck. Greg and Rowley manage to escape by running into the woods. Soon after, Greg attempts to become powerful in school by having himself and Rowley join the school safety patrol. While walking a group of kindergarteners home, the boys are almost spotted by the same teenagers.

During winter, Rowley fractures his arm due to an accident during a game the boys invented involving a bike and a football. As a result, Rowley starts to gain attention and become popular. Later, Greg has to walk the kindergarteners home alone due to Rowley not being able to get his cast wet. When he sees an approaching truck that's highly similar to the one that belongs to the teenagers, he attempts to hide by putting the kids into a ditch. As it turns out, the truck belongs to a middle-aged man, and Greg is spotted by a neighbor who thinks she is talking to Rowley due to Greg wearing his raincoat. As a result, Rowley is taken off safety patrol. Some time later, Greg decides to tell Rowley the truth, but Rowley, having come to realize Greg's foolish actions, storms off, ruining their friendship even more.

After Rowley befriends a student named Collin, Greg attempts to make him jealous by having a sleepover with Fregley. It ends with Greg spending some of the night in the bathroom after Fregley chases him with a booger on his finger. Frank picks him up afterwards. The next day, Greg tries to pursue popularity without Rowley by auditioning for the school play of The Wizard of Oz. Greg gets offered a part due to his lovely singing voice, but turns down the role of Dorothy Gale. He decides to be a tree, thinking he'll be able to throw apples at Patty, who's going to play Dorothy. The play goes wrong when Greg stops singing in fear of humiliation when Rodrick starts recording him, and Patty subsequently loses her temper with him and blames him for messing up the play, after which she, Greg, and the other students on stage engage in a fight with apples from the tree costumes. The play ends with Greg and Patty angrily tackling each other.

After being forced to attend a mother-son dance with his mother, Greg attempts to invite Rowley to get ice cream after the dance, but Rowley already has plans with Collin. Depressed, Greg returns to his mother and watches in horror as Rowley and his mom become the stars of the event by performing a dance routine to "Intergalactic."

One day during free time at school, Greg and Rowley get into an argument. As it escalates, the other students try to get the boys to fight each other. It quickly ends when the group of teenagers from Halloween night pull up to the school. Greg and Rowley are caught while the other students flee. The teenagers force Rowley to eat some of the rotting cheese on the basketball court. They then try to force Greg to do the same, but the teens flee the property when they are caught by the gym teacher. When the students go back outside, Greg covers for Rowley and says that he ate the cheese, which mends their friendship. Angie compliments Greg for his selfless act.

Sometime later, the school year has concluded. All the students receive their yearbooks, and Greg and Rowley make class favorites as "Cutest Friends."

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Filming of Diary of a Wimpy Kid wrapped up on October 16, 2009.

The official trailer for Wimpy Kid was released virally on January 21, 2010 and was shown in theaters with Tooth Fairy.[6] A poster for the film was released shortly after. Another trailer was shown with Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.[7]

The official Facebook account for Wimpy Kid had uploaded three clips from the film, as of March 1, 2010.[8] In the United Kingdom and Ireland the film was released in cinemas on August 25, 2010.

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack is supposedly to be released by La La Land Records with special thanks to the labels for the artists; Universal Motown Records (Forever the Sickest Kids), Capitol Records (Beastie Boys), B-Unique Records (Kaiser Chiefs), Columbia Records (Bonnie Tyler, Teddybears), XL Recordings (Electric Six), Rough Trade (1990s), Beautiful Bomb Records (Smash Mouth), Chrysalis Records (Bonnie Tyler), Stick Music (Bonnie Tyler) and Gordy Records (Rick James).[9]

  • "Ride" by The Vines plays when Greg first steps foot in middle school.
  • "Never Miss a Beat" by Kaiser Chiefs. This song is heard when the boys are playing a game called "Gladiator" in gym class.
  • "The Four Seasons" by Vivaldi is played when Greg fantasises about himself being older and rich.
  • "More Than I Can Do" (instrumental version) by Scott Kinney (brother of Jeff Kinney) is played when Löded Diper arrives at Greg's home.
  • "Super Freak" by Rick James was played when Fregley is wrestling Greg.
  • "When They Fight, They Fight" by The Generationals is played when Greg finds out he's in the school paper for being beaten by Patty in wrestling.
  • "Hot" by Smash Mouth is heard when Greg is walking down the hallway wearing a shirt and tie in an effort to win the Class Favorite spot for Best Dressed.
  • "Danger! High Voltage" by Electric Six is heard when Greg and Rowley attempt to escape the teenagers chasing them on Halloween but the weed whacker Greg uses loses control and damages their truck.
  • "Cobrastyle" by Teddybears is played when Greg dreams of auditioning for safety patrols.
  • "O.K. Mr Hillbilly" written by Ron Henley is played when Greg thinks he sees the teenagers from Halloween passing by while on Safety Patrol duty.
  • "You're Supposed to Be My Friend" by 1990s. This song is played when Rowley stops being Greg's friend in favor of Colin Lee.
  • "Total Eclipse of the Heart", written by Jim Steinman, is the song that is sung when the kids audition for The Wizard of Oz.
  • "We Three Trees", a song from the book, was performed by Greg and two other characters in the School Play.
  • "Time To Die" written by Ali Dee Theodore and Joey Katsaros which was performed by Löded Diper when Greg's mother was about to tell Rodrick off after the latter is accused by Greg of putting an adult magazine in Manny's backpack.
  • "Le Freak" by Chic. This song is played at the Mother/Son Sweetheart Dance when Greg and his mom enter.
  • "The Popular Thing" by Jukebox The Ghost. This song can be heard playing in the background when Greg attempts to make up with Rowley by inviting him to join him for an ice cream after the dance.
  • "Intergalactic" by Beastie Boys is played at the Mother/Son Sweetheart Dance when Rowley and his mom dance along to the song.
  • "What Do You Want From Me (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Mix)" by Forever the Sickest Kids is played during the end credits.
  • "Tear It Up" by White Demons
  • "Up Rock" (slow version) by Ali Dee Theodore and The Deekompressors
  • "Live to Rock" by Brian Tichy

Distribution[edit]

Tie-in book[edit]

A tie-in book, written by Kinney, called The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary was published on March 16, 2010, by Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams Books). It includes film stills, storyboards, preliminary concept drawings, and also behind the scenes information to humorously chronicle the making of the film. It also includes some new illustrations.[10][11]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 3, 2010. The Blu-ray Version features six pages from Rowley's diary, Diary of an Awesome, Friendly Kid.

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Reviews of Diary of a Wimpy Kid have been mixed. Review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, based on 101 reviews, gives the film Top Critics rating of 50%, and an all critics rating of 53%. The consensus given is "Unlike its bestselling source material, Diary of a Wimpy Kid fails to place a likable protagonist at the center of its middle-school humor – and its underlying message is drowned out as a result."[12] It also holds a "mixed or average" rating of 56 at Metacritic, based on 26 reviews.[13] Roger Ebert gave the film three-and-a-half stars out of four, writing "It's nimble, bright and funny. It doesn't dumb down. It doesn't patronize. It knows something about human nature."[14] Glenn Whipp of the Associated Press was less positive, saying, "In transferring the clean, precise humor of Kinney's illustrations and prose to the big-screen, the material loses just a bit of its charm."[15] At the Movies host David Stratton gave the film one star while co-host Margaret Pomeranz gave it half a star. Stratton called the film "tiresome" and said there was "nothing remotely interesting in Thor Freudenthal's direction or the screenplay." Pomeranz disliked the character of Greg Heffley, saying "I really thought he was unpleasant. I did not want to spend time with him. I could not wait for the end of this film."[16]

Box office[edit]

The film opened in second place at the weekend box office grossing $22.1 million, behind Alice in Wonderland.[17]

Despite a lack of distinctive marketing, Diary of a Wimpy Kid drew a decent crowd, opening to $22.1 million on approximately 3,400 screens at 3,077 sites, notably beating out the heavily hyped The Bounty Hunter. It was the biggest start ever for a non-animated, non-fantasy children's book adaptation. Diary of a Wimpy Kid grossed more in its first three days than other film adaptions to children's novels like How to Eat Fried Worms and Hoot grossed in their entire runs.[17] The film grossed $63,003,625 in North America and $11,695,602 in other territories for a worldwide total of $75,699,227.[18]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
2011 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award Favorite Movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid Nominated
2011 Young Artist Award Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor Zachary Gordon Nominated [19]
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor Robert Capron Nominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor Alex Ferris Nominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actress Laine MacNeil Nominated
Best Performance in a Feature Film - Young Ensemble Cast Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Devon Bostick, Chloë Grace Moretz, Laine MacNeil, Grayson Russell, Karan Brar, and Alex Ferris Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Movie Projector: No 'Bounty Hunter,' 'Repo Men' or 'Wimpy Kid' can upstage 'Alice' (updated)". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). March 18, 2010. Archived from the original on August 28, 2010. Retrieved March 19, 2010. The modestly budgeted picture cost 20th Century Fox's movie label Fox 2000 only about $15 million to produce 
  2. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ Breznican, Anthony (September 29, 2009). "First Look: 'Wimpy Kid' actor embraces being 'a likable jerk'". USA Today. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (August 3, 2009). "Steve Zahn to star in 'Wimpy Kid'". Variety. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  5. ^ McCarron, Heather (October 12, 2009). "Nothing 'Wimpy' about local author's success". Milford Daily News. Retrieved October 20, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Diary of A Wimpy Kid Theatrical Trailer". 
  7. ^ Official Wimpy Kid Movie on Facebook (January 2010). "Wimpy Kid Movie Poster". 
  8. ^ Official Wimpy Kid Movie on Facebook (January 2010). "Facebook | Official Wimpy Kid Movie". 
  9. ^ imdb (January 2010). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)Soundtracks". 
  10. ^ "Jeff Kinney to make The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary". 
  11. ^ The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary, Book Details
  12. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  14. ^ Ebert, Roger (March 17, 2010). "Diary of a Wimpy Kid review". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on August 1, 2010. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. 
  16. ^ David Stratton, Margaret Pomeranz (September 29, 2010). "29 September 2010". At the Movies. September 29, 2010. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 
  17. ^ a b "Weekend Report: 'Alice' Tops Again, 'Diary', 'Bounty' Neck-and-Neck". Box Office Mojo. March 22, 2010. Retrieved October 18, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved August 1, 2010. 
  19. ^ "32nd Annual Young Artist Awards". YoungArtistAwards.org. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 

External links[edit]