The Wimpy MoviePosted: March 31, 2010
The choice: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, the Movie.
I wanted to leave after the first 15 minutes. But I had to endure, at least for the sake of my son, who by the way found the movie disappointing.
Based on the popular kids books by Jeff Kinney, the Wimpy Kid tells the trials and tribulations of a boy traversing his middle school years. I remember middle school (in my day, Junior High) as difficult, and pivotal. But I cannot remember it ever being that tortuous. Having only glanced at the book once or twice, when asked to read from it, I do not recall the main character being such a hopeless victim all the time. The movie pushes this aspect all the way. The boy is a seriously flawed and hopeless character, with little ability to overcome just about any adversity. His brother is portrayed as an evil, unsympathetic and unloving sibling. His parents are oblivious to anything the boy is going through, and his friends are all dorks. Okay, that last bit may have been true. And all these elements conspire to force him to do a series of really stupid things. I had to keep hitting my head all the time to fend off the pain that was oozing off the screen.
My memory of Junior high is where I began to flex a little muscle. The anger that lied repressed beneath the surface of my skin, began to bubble over. My creative desires began to really express themselves. As I also began to grow in size, I was not that easy to mess with. If I was shunned in one circle, then I certainly found others where I would be accepted. 13 was a bitch, but it was out of that period that emerged the real me. That me is still here 40 somewhat years later.
Something always strikes me when I see these movies. Does anyone else notice what a cesspool of an environment public schooling is for our children. Do we really think that what we see up on the screen is an exaggeration? Teachers seem like unfulfilled buffoons who have no clue as to what children might be interested in, nor do they care. Parents throw their kids to these lions and then turn their backs hoping for the best. Somehow I think these films are desperately trying to tell us something. That for kids, school is a tortuous, unpleasant, at times frightening, anxiety producing and an oppressive environment. (Did I use enough adjectives?)
Fortunately, my son has a discerning eye. He has been exposed to all kinds of things. From the popular to the esoteric. He likes Harry Potter, Legos, Mario Bros, video games and ugly dolls. He has also enjoyed Jan Svankmajer, the Quay Brothers, Terry Gilliam, Russian animation and the art of Alex Ross. (you will have to look all of these up if you are interested.) He draws incessantly and is constantly developing his own stories and concepts.
So when a popular film tends to underwhelm him, there is a good reason. It is the basic fact that writers of films have very little respect for childrens’ ability to delve into their own souls. To explore creativity that opens the depths of their own self. It is insulting that media is so course and that it can only depict 2 dimensional characters.
Is this is a review? I do not recommend or pan anything. I think that if you have to see this movie, you are on your own, and you will find what you will find. I just had to get this out of my system. Somewhat like the junk food the theater sells at the counter. Fortunately, I did not consume any of that.