Diary of a Wimpy Kid is the kind of film that you’d wish you had seen when you were twelve. Its spasticity captures the extremist mindset of a young boy, where the smallest problem can be inflated into the direst of life-or-death situations. The film does this through the upbeat and good-natured chronicles of Greg Heffley (Gordon), the wimpy kid in question.

The stick-figure drawings on which the film was based work well as animation and spastic characterisation. Heffley, his family and friends don’t come across as real people; even kids won’t be fooled by them. However, the lively window that the film opens is enchanting and filled with middle school flair, making it nonetheless enjoyable.

Heffley is a kid with grand delusion about the magnitude of his own awesomeness. He is jittery about starting middle school and has set his mind on becoming one of the cool kids. Heffley’s selfish quest finds him pulling one stunt after another to gain attention, but the kid’s fleeting grasp of his own reality leads him in the opposite direction. Instead of climbing the ladder of popularity, Heffley fumbles again and again, slipping into the pit of humiliation. He even abuses his best friend Rowley (Capron) to get his way. By the end of the film, he’s left alone with nothing to face but his own vanity.

At times, Diary of a Wimpy Kid falls victim to its own childish outlook, throwing fart and booger jokes to secure some easy laughs; yet the film balances the juvenile outbursts with some cross-crowd appealing hilarity. Not to say that the film works on any mature level; this is the cinematic equivalent of a loopy brat on a sugar high.

The moral centre of Diary of a Wimpy Kid doesn’t get in the way of its turbo-driven, colourful story. There is no spoon feeding here, no pauses to recap the lessons learned. Even when Heffley gives his final revelatory speech; it’s met by jeers and boos. Both cynical and reaffirming , this film is fun, funny and heartfelt; s a charming family flick that we can all enjoy.