The pre-teen years are a difficult time for everyone, but having to endure the angst-ridden experience of being at the bottom of the totem pole while in the same building with high school pupils is enough to make anyone break out in a sweat. Two nerds, Greg Heffley and Rowley Jefferson, are best friends who together must suffer the humiliation of their introduction to the upper school with its accompanying indignities. What makes it even worse is that Greg's older brother has painted a horrible picture of what they will encounter there and what they must avoid in order to survive.
Greg understands only too well that his best friend Rowley is obese, nerdy and utterly clueless, and will not attract friends who will want to enjoy their company. But Greg himself has no other friend around except Rowley, so he continues to suffer the embarrassment of being Rowley's best friend.
Greg and Rowley
Greg and Rowley try their best to achieve some form of recognition even though they have had to spend their first days at lunch period eating on the floor; they have not been invited to join any of the groups that have already been formed. In order to be featured in the yearbook at the end of the school year, which would be the ultimate success, they plan their strategies to be observed by others as cool. They are both accepted as school patrol officers which proved to be a mistake, wreaking havoc all around. Their successful auditions for the school play "The Wizard of Oz” did not show them off in a good light. On Halloween, the two friends were pursued by bullies after Greg accidentally scraped the paint from their automobile.
After several misunderstandings, Greg and Rowley ended their friendship, causing Greg to suffer when Rowley began to attract friends to himself. They finally resolved their differences though and became friends once again; they achieved their mission to have their picture featured in the yearbook. It was entitled "cutest friendship."
It is heartwarming to view a movie that doesn't require censorship from a parent. It is a film which both children and adults can enjoy and feel a connection with. Greg and Rowley are both portrayed by relatively unknown actors who do a commendable job of depicting the anguish of the pre-teen years.
The film is based on the first of a six-book series called "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" although Greg insists that it is a journal, not a diary, which he feels is too feminine a name. The incidents are the remembrances of author Jeff Kinney who recalls only too well his own pre-teen days in middle school. Any viewer can relate to the difficulties of growing up which all of us have encountered.