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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Alongside the many examples of misguided teen behavior, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days has several positive messages about family, friendship, and even early romantic relationships. Greg tends to tell lies big and small to try to get his way, but Rowley and Holly help him realize that it's more important to be true to yourself than to tell lies to try and impress people.
Positive Role Models
Holly and Rowley are great kid role models. While Holly is pretty enough to be a "mean girl," she's not. She's kind to everyone and abhors her older sister's diva-ish behavior. Rowley is never afraid to be exactly who he is -- a sweet, obedient boy who loves his parents and shows it. Despite his initial lies, Greg learns from his mistakes and apologizes to his father and Rowley. Greg and his father grow closer by being honest about their interests.
Violence & Scariness
Some humorous slapstick: During a doubles tennis match, Greg and Rowley are hit in various places with an aggressively served tennis ball. They double over in pain as they're hit in the stomach and the groin. Greg has a bag full of ants crawl on him during a camping trip. During a scary campfire story, a counselor jumps out of the darkness and scares the kids.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Greg has a crush on Holly and stares at and tries to flirt with her. They end up holding hands. Rodrick fancies Holly's older sister, Heather. While it's not sexual, there's an extended scene in a men's locker room in which Greg sees many half-dressed men taking a shower (no nudity, but their big, hairy chests and stomachs are on display). Greg is shown sitting on the toilet (no nudity).
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Like the books and the previous movies, language is mostly insults like "idiot," "loser," "shut up," "midgets," "jerk," and "freak." There's also a good bit of potty and scatological humor. References to farts, boogers, and dog spit are common.
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Products & Purchases
Apple's MacBook Pro is displayed and used in a few scenes. Video game consoles and the Sony PSP are shown (and played). A couple of cars, like the Volvo station wagon and a Jeep, are driven by parents. Greg eats a snack of Coke and Utz potato chips.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is the third adaptation in the series of movies based on Jeff Kinney's phenomenally popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Like its two predecessors, it's full of the kind of physical and scatological comedy that tweens love. Language includes standard insults like "loser" and "jerk," and the violence is of the humorous ball-in-the-groin variety, with one potential jump scene when an adult scares kids during a campout. Parents wary of bathroom humor should know there are many jokes about pee, farts, boogers, dog spit, etc. There's a brief glimpse at a boy sitting on the toilet and an extended men's locker room sequence in which a lead character tries to avoid looking at all the fat, hairy, and shirtless men toweling off or taking showers. Overall, the movie (like the book) has a sweet message about father-son bonding and being honest. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director David Bowers is back again to helm another adaptation of Jeff Kinney's ubiquitous book series. Dog Days continues to highlight the same silly antics that get Greg in trouble every time he tries to outsmart his family and friends, and Rowley remains the most unconditionally faithful sidekick ever. Gordon is adorably dorky as the head Wimpy Kid, and, as in the first two films, Capron's lovable Rowley steals several scenes with his hilarious gestures and facial expressions. Plus, for once, here's a kid who absolutely loves to be with his parents -- no matter how overprotective and sentimental they are toward him.
With slightly less emphasis on the sillier secondary characters like Fregley, Chirag, and Patty, Dog Days instead follows Greg's first real attempt at middle-school romance. Despite how pretty she is, Holly is nothing like her mean-girl older sister Heather; she's sweet and accepting and just the kind of girl who seems out of Greg's league, but is actually interested right back. If only there were more movies where the dorky girl gets the handsome and cool guy! As always, there's a predictable amount of bathroom humor, but as long as you don't mind the bodily fluid jokes, this tween comedy is certain to entertain the 12-and-under set ... and their parents.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.