Diary of a Wimpy Kid is funnier than the last 99 “family comedies” that preceded it. Actually it is funnier than most of the adult comedies of the last couple of years as well.
I should probably say that it will seem funny to adults with good memories and kids who are at least as old as the characters in the movie. The younger children in the audience seemed to sit through it in a state of silent incomprehension.
Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) has just entered middle school (which in his district apparently begins with the sixth grade.) He is confident that with his talent and intelligence he will easily become the most popular kid in his class. His only worry is whether his chubby and dim-witted best friend (Robert Capron) will slow him down.
Unfortunately Greg is the sort of screw-up whose best-thought-out schemes usually end in disaster.
This is the sort of comedy where the depiction of early-adolescent life rings painfully true. For such a young actor, Zachary Gordon shows some real comic talent. We may be hearing more of him in the future.