Bottom line: Diary of Wimpy Kid: Dog Days is a comedy based on the popular Wimpy Kid book series. The movie contains some mildly crude or rude humor and some negative behavior.MPAA Rating: PG, for some rude humor
Guide age recommendation: 7+
Runtime: 94 minutes
Release Date: August 3, 2012
Diary of Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - Overview
School's out, and middle-schooler Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) only has one thing standing in the way of a perfect summer: his father (Steve Zahn). If Greg can just convince dear old dad that he's spending a productive summer playing sports and doing some good old fashioned hard work, then he can get down to doing what he really wants to do, which is play video games all day and get together with his crush Holly (Peyton List).
Greg's plan really comes together when his best friend Rowely (Robert Capron) invites him go to the country club with his family. Greg ends up convincing his father that he has a job at the club, while really he's lounging around drinking smoothies, spending time with Holly and sneaking his big brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick) into the club. Aside from a few little glitches here and there, this summer may turn out to be the best ever, unless of course, he gets caught.
Diary of Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - Guide Review for Parents
The third installment of the Wimpy Kid movies, Dog Days contains plenty of mild rude humor and slapstick moments that kids will find hilarious -- a jaunt through the mens' locker room (eeww!), campsite pranks, and a kid losing his swimsuit as he dives into the pool to name a few. But while there is also a hilarious and disgusting scene involving a pot roast, the rest of the movie contains very little meat.
Greg basically makes it through the summer by lying about everything to everyone. He lies to his father about getting a job (among other things), he lies to his best friend, he lies to the people working at the country club, he lies to his best friends parents -- the list goes on. But even with all of this lying going on, there is rarely much dramatic tension involved in his tangled web of deceit. And when everything comes to a head, the resolution doesn't fully address Greg's actions or the consequences.
The father-son relationship at the heart of the story provides some honest, endearing and funny moments in the film. However, I would have loved to have seen a little more depth in their story arc as well. The dad gets a lack luster moment to shine, but he doesn't get the chance to earn any real respect or teach his son in a meaningful way.
Overall, families can enjoy this film for the totally kid-oriented comedy (I'm not saying grownups won't still laugh at it), which is mildly rude in some cases, but not that bad considering. The film also contains very little violence, no drugs or alcohol, and little in the way of sexual content. So, it's got all that going for it. Parents may want to have a casual follow up conversation about what it means to have integrity and how Greg could have done a little more to make up the trust that he lost with, basically everyone he knows.
Diary of Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - Content Overview*May contain spoilers.
- Violence (Low): Some slapstick violence occurs in the film -- a kid getting pummeled with tennis balls, a few mild falls/trips, a kid's foot getting run over by a car, and a disastrous rock performance resulting in some destruction and chaos at a party. A couple of scary stories are told that involve decapitation or a bloody hand that haunts the forest.
- Scary Scenes (Low): Young children may be scared by the ghost stories told by the camp fire or at the amusement park. One scene depicts the boys screaming their heads off in fear on an amusement park ride. In another scene, one boy is hiding while a camp leader violently searches his tent thinking there's a wild animal in it. A Civil War re-enactment is shown.
- Sex/Nudity (Medium): Many scenes in the movie depict people in various bathing suits and/or bikinis. In a locker room scene, we see lots of naked men wearing nothing but towels or with just the scenery hiding anything explicit. When Greg loses his suit on the high dive, we know he's naked in the pool, but nothing explicit is shown. In one scene, a boy pretends he's drowning, hoping the pretty lifeguard will jump in and save him. Instead, a big man jumps in and pulls him out, then performing a weird sort of mouth-to-mouth CPR, which makes the boy cringe in disgust. In one scene, we see a boy sitting on the toilet. A boy and a girl hold hands.
- Drugs and Alcohol (None)
- Language (Low): No profanity is used in the movie. A few rude words like, "loser" are used.
- Disrespectful/Imitative Behavior (Extreme): Throughout the movie, Greg lies. He also disobeys his parents and his friend's parents. Additionally, he sneaks his brother into the country club and eventually starts lying to get in himself as well. All Greg wants to do is play video games all day. Some characters mildly insult others. The boys at camp play a prank involving ants on the leader of another troop. As in other WK movies, Greg isn't the best friend. He acts selfishly and uses his best friend Rowley at times. A boy dips a strawberry in the chocolate covering a girls' arm. Kids may talk about or imitate some of the potty jokes in the movie -- like one where Greg tells Rowley he used his toothbrush to clean dog poop off his shoe.
- Sad/Unsettling Scenes (Low): Mildly sad and slightly tense scenes occur when the boys' parents are disappointed in their sons.
- Movie Topics Kids Might Have Questions About: lying, friendship, disobeying parents, country clubs, public pools, having a crush on someone.