Parents' Guide to

Dear Dumb Diary

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Books-inspired movie has great social messages for kids.

Movie PG 2013 84 minutes
Dear Dumb Diary Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 15+

Absolutely horrible message

This movie is PG rated and literally encourages the rounding up and banishment of people that are the 'perfect people of the world' (good looking). And people really think this sends a "good message"? What, a good message is encouraging children to hate and socially exile people that are born with good looks? Wow.
age 12+

"Idiots and fools" ???!!!

This movie seemed harmless, until my 6 year old was singing "idiots and fools" around the house. I watched it closely and although it may get better at the end, there was way too much nastiness displayed by the main characters towards other people during the first half or so of the movie and I didn't appreciate the language in the songs.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (30 ):

This delightful movie about issues that will resonate with kids provides families with a segue into meaningful conversations about issues like self-esteem, dating, social status, and peer pressure. Dear Dumb Diary is product of Walden Family Theater, a joint endeavor between the Hallmark Channel and sponsors Walmart and Procter & Gamble that's intended to provide families with quality entertainment for viewers of all ages. Not an easy task, to be sure, but they hit the nail on the head. Jamie's struggles with her self-image will sound familiar to a lot of viewers –- kids and parents alike -– and the process by which she learns to cope with her insecurities has value across the board.

What makes this story so appealing –- besides the creative incorporation of the books' illustrations and the breakout music video sequences -– is that Jamie is no saint. She breaks some rules, hangs with a questionably influential BFF who gets her involved in sketchy schemes, and turns her own unhappiness into vengeance against an unwitting classmate. In other words, she's relatable. But each incident forces her to take a good hard look at her actions, and eventually she comes to appreciate who she is, which helps her relate better to others.

Movie Details

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