DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE LONG HAUL is not Wimpy at all

PG

In this fourth installment of the Wimpy Kid series, the cast may have completely changed but the Wimpy Kid is still wimpy, cute and funny. As I was watching, I kept thinking of this movie as a cross between “National Lampoon’s Vacation” and “Little Miss Sunshine.” Like those films, everything that can go wrong does go wrong in this harmless piece of fluff.

A Heffley family road trip to attend Meemaw’s 90th birthday party goes hilariously off course thanks to Greg’s newest scheme to get to a video gaming convention that is only two inches off course according to the Atlas.

Jason Drucker stars as Greg, the wimpy kid. Tom Everett Scott is Greg’s father Frank Alicia Silverstone is his mother, Susan and Charlie Wright is Greg’s flaky brother, Roderick.

Silverstone’s acting was a little too over the top for me. As I watched her performance, I found her character slightly annoying. It just didn’t ring true.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Long Haul” was directed by David Bowers who has directed every movie in this series except the first one.

The screenplay was written by Jeff Kinney and David Bowers based on the series of Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney. This is the first Wimpy Kid movie where Kinney, who authored the books, provided the script. In the other movies, the screenplay was written by other writers.

Several times during the film I had the feeling that Kinney and Bowers were writing about my family’s road trips. One major difference is that if my family stopped at a motel that was not up to my mother’s cleanliness standards, we abruptly left the motel in search of another one. Sometimes it took two or three stops to find a satisfactory motel; while Susan Heffley put up with a motel room that was really sub par.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the long haul” is a fun film for the whole family. Parents and Grandparents can enjoy the film along with the kids. If you don’t have kids, go see the movie anyway for a good laugh. It is a harmless film that evokes memories from past of those road trips you took with your family.

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the long haul” opens Friday at AMC Showplace Edwardsville 12.

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