Inappropriate messages for kids under 10
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" is basically a movie about a kid who is a terrible, selfish, manipulative person and an even worse friend. Greg, the movie's main character, wants to be popular at any cost. He schemes and is typically pretty terrible to his one true friend, Riley. He constantly belittles his friend and even let him take the fall for something HE did. He broke his best friend's arm, and seemed more concerned about the fact that it made his friend more popular than it made him. It is later revealed in a flashback scene that he bullied a little girl to the point of tears once while in kindergarten. Now in middle school, the same girl consistently bullies Greg, and he asks what he's ever done to her. Perhaps that is the most annoying aspect of this utterly terrible, manipulative character; he is not only awful, but he doesn't seem to KNOW he's awful and therefore doesn't take any responsibility for MOST of his actions. There aren't a whole lot of consequences for the character's terrible behavior either, other than his friend Riley finally realizing that Greg is a garbage person and stops hanging out with him. In fact, that's the most positive message in the movie when his best friend has finally had enough of his mean, manipulative behavior, and realizes that Greg is not a good friend or person and finds a friend that treats him with more respect. At least that teaches kids about being a good judge of character and having boundaries about the types of people to surround yourself with. Also, another positive is that Riley stays true to himself and is leagues happier than Greg, despite Greg constantly trying to make him feel bad about being himself or inadequate. Overall, I would not recommend this movie for any kid under 10. It promotes bullying and manipulation as a way to get a desirable outcome, and kids under 10 won't understand it as humor. They may actually see it as an endorsement of such behavior. Greg does take the heat off of Riley in the end and comes through as a friend for him at a integral time, but that ONE instance is not worth small kids watching this movie, as Greg never truly apologizes and his consequences for all of his horrible actions are pretty slap on the wrist none existant. There are also situations within the movie (like the mother finding the older brother's porn magazine) and confronting him about it, that I don't think is appropriate for young kids. The movie might be fine for older kids that are able to grasp situational humor, but I would not recommend this for younger kids.