We saw the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dog Days movie" and my husband and I absolutely loved it. The Wimpy Kid movies are John Hughes style movies but focus on Jr. High School instead of High School. Believe me, Jr. High School was much more difficult to survive than high school.
Jeff Kinney takes his story about a kid (Greg Heffley) trying to grow up and survive middle school, family dynamics, and relationships. This film, like the others, takes these experiences and makes them relatable and hilarious for anyone of any age.
Although it is apparent that the cast is growing up, (since this is the 3rd movie in the very popular series), I found that it really didn't matter because we relate to the issues and problems Greg is experiencing and not his physical presence. No one said anything about the Harry Potter kids getting older and the same holds for the Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I didn't find myself focused on the kids ages because you get lost in the laughs, and enjoyment of the film as the gags get bigger and funnier in this 3rd installment to the popular movie series. The kids are exactly at the place their supposed to be in real life - 14 years old. For us it added to the "realness" of the story and characters portrayed.
I hope they make more of these films and continue on into High School, as these stories and films are truly honest and bonified entertainment for the whole family. They don't talk or play down to kids, they don't moralize, they don't try to get you to "see the light" as other family films do. If you allow yourself to lay back in the theater seat and let go of yourself for 94 minutes, you will be transported back to a time we can all relate to in our lives.
Zachary Gordon is back, in excellent form, as the main character, Greg Heffley. This is a very complex character from Kinney's books and Zach Gordon deserves a lot of credit for continuing to carry these movies to new heights (no pun intended-see the ride on the Revolation which gets up to 3-4 "G's"). It has actually been a lot of fun for our family, following him as he matures in character and life. He is blossoming into a really fine actor with a big future ahead of him. One of the best things about this new movie is the relationship between his character and his father played wonderfully by Steve Zahn. We get to follow a very "real" father/son relationship in this film with all their ups and downs and emotional discourse. This is a dose of "reality" for anyone and is definitely a must see for any dad who has sons or daughters and participated in the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Indian Guides, Indian Princess, or other father son/daughter activity. Brought back a lot of good memories for us.
In this combination of the 3rd and 4th book - DWK: The Last Straw, and DWK: Dog Days, the film makes for an enjoyable roller-coaster ride in a comical "Summer" setting. The continued trials and tribulations of the main character - Greg Heffley, are made even more hilarious and complicated when Greg 1)fakes a job at a country club to appease his father, 2) goes on vacation with his best friends family, the Jeffersons, 3)tries to further a relationship with a girl- Holly Hills, 4)has to put up with constant aggravation from his older brother Rodrick, and 5) experiences communication and relationship issues with his dad. With all these intertwined story lines, this movie will have you in "stitches". The scenes at the country club with his brother Roderick are just plain hilarious and embarrassing fun! Not much ever seems to go well for Greg, even when his best intentions are at stake, which of course, makes for fun movie entertainment. If you like honest, wholesome, non-animated, non-CG (3D) movies, then this ones a hit! For you critical people out there - this movie is not intended to be "Gone with the Wind", just good old fashioned film entertainment for the whole family, that will sweep you away from the problems of today for a moment in time. Sisters will relate, brothers will relate, and mom's and dad's will get "teary eyed" over the in's and out's of Greg's turbulent and very "real" relationship portrayed with his dad.
If you want to laugh out loud, if you want just great movie entertainment with a connected and wonderful cast, especially the lead character, Zach Gordon, then go see this, must see, movie! You won't be disappointed!