A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is the sequel to 2010's Diary of a Wimpy Kid (based on the hugely popular series of books by Jeff Kinney). It continues the misadventures of Greg, a middle-school kid who tries a little too hard to be popular. There's less scatological humor this time around (except for some bird poop), but there is a scene in which Greg's older brother, Rodrick, throws a wild party while his parents are out; teens drink from anonymous red cups and act crazy, though there's no real mention or implication of alcohol. Other scenes include some shouting, threatening, and bullying, as well as a brief fight. Characters also toss around middle-school insults like "jerk," "loser," and "butt brain." Fans of the original movie will find more to enjoy here, although there's less Rowley in this installment.
What's the story?
Greg (Zachary Gordon) and Rowley (Robert Capron) begin seventh grade in DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: RODRICK RULES. Greg falls for cute new girl Holly Hills (Peyton List) and renews his attempts to be popular. Meanwhile, his mom (Rachael Harris) has begun writing a newspaper column about parenting that further embarrasses Greg. And his older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick), continues to torment him. When their parents go out of town for a weekend, Rodrick throws a wild party, and then the brothers conspire to clean up their mess and hide the evidence. This conspiracy brings them closer as brothers, but what happens when the other shoe drops?
Is it any good?
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series gets a new director in David Bowers, but retains continuity with tone and the same funny in-betweens, animated in the style of book author Jeff Kinney's artwork. The scatological stuff seems toned down in this installment, although there's certainly a fair share of embarrassment-related humor.
The focus here is less on Greg and Rowley and more on Greg and his brother Rodrick. As with the previous film, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules seems to actually get what it feels like to be a middle-schooler with older and/or younger siblings. Overall, it's fast, funny, and effective and will probably please fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Greg's continued attempts to be popular in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. Why is being popular so important to him? Is that something that matters to you? What actually makes a person cool and/or popular?
Is Rodrick a good role model for Greg? Are Rodrick's "rules" helpful? Why or why not?
Is Greg bullied in this movie? Is he justified in feeling picked on?
Fans of the books: How does the movie compare? Which characters were different or new? Did you like the changes?
- In theaters: March 25, 2011
- On DVD or streaming: June 21, 2011
- Cast: Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn, Zachary Gordon
- Director: David Bowers
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Book characters, Friendship, Middle school
- Run time: 96 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some mild rude humor and mischief
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.