I don't know many people (myself included) who didn't run into a few problems in school growing up. Whether it was bullies, mean (or boring) teachers, "friends," or anything else (the list was long in my case), it was never the ideal experience for anybody. Well, at least anybody I know personally anyway. There were always those "perfect" kids who could do no wrong, but I suspect karma rectified that situation with them later in life.
Based on the best-selling novel by Jeff Kinney, the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid provides a glimpse into Greg Heffley's (Zachary Gordon) life as he enters middle school. He's joined by his best friend and well meaning but clueless kid Rowley (Robert Capron) and together they try to navigate the complex waters of middle school. Of course, it's not easy.
Greg has an older teenage brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) who's the drummer in the band Loded Diaper. Rodrick does everything he can to make his younger sibling's life heck, including not bathing and sticking Greg's face in his armpit. Rodrick is more than a bully in the house, however; he's also a source of amusement. Like when Rowley sees Rodrick wearing eyeliner and dressed for a gig with his band when Rowley says, "Wow. You're lucky. My mom doesn't let me play with makeup any more."
Greg's parents are well-meaning, but very strange. His mom (Rachael Harris) means well and tries to let her kids learn from their mistakes. At one point, she goes with Greg to a dance... and I can't say that I remember a Mom & Son dance during my school career, but I'm pretty sure I would have been mortified at that age as well. Greg's dad (Steven Zahn) tries to keep his boys masculine and prove that he can protect his family and house. To do this, at one point in the movie he goes so far as to splash kids he thinks are going to TP their house on Halloween.
At school, things aren't much better for Greg. He thinks he has all the answers to become a popular kid, but all of his schemes backfire. And by the end, Rowley is popular and has disowned Greg because of all the mean things that happen. Angie (Chloe Moretz, Kick-Ass, the upcoming Let Me In) is the school journalist who encourages Greg to think for himself and stop trying to be popular — but of course he doesn't listen until the end.