Seventh grade is the worst, because nobody has the insight to be cool but everybody has a need to show off. Some of that feeling makes its way into Diary of a Wimpy Kid
. Juggling experience (though I doubt many 12-year-olds in 2010 listen to "Whatta Man" and "Intergalactic") with fantasy, this take on Jeff Kinney's book series skips the "for the whole family" prestige that made The Princess and the Frog
antiseptic. With punchlines like titular Wimpy Kid Greg (Zachary Morgan) accidentally urinating on his older brother, it's dedicated to tween-level pratfalls and raunch---each misadventure working as its own short story. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
's only condescension comes through another of those patronizing endings that tell kids their problems aren't important, and the character of Greg himself. He's the normal one, the stand-in for the screenwriters, who comments on and keeps his head above those around him. There's enough creativity in Diary of a Wimpy Kid
that it would only improve if Greg would get his shit together and apply himself a little more.