I hear that the Wimpy Kid is coming soon to a theater near you--"Harrumph," says the crotchety old-lady librarian in me. "Another great book series going to hell in a handbasket with this movie business." I think that three quarters of the appeal of these books are the illustrations--a point lost when you throw real kids onto the screen and expect that the nuances of the real can replace the ridiculousness & truthfulness of the viewpoint of the artist (in this instance, Greg). Who else but a fictional kid whose reality is represented only by cartoons can make the truth fresh with attitude and exaggeration? A real kid just comes across like Malcolm in the Middle. Smarmy and unlikeable and dull.
"Last night I was watching one those television shows where a nanny lives with a family for a week and then tells them all the ways they're screwing up. Well, I don't know if the woman had to go to some special nanny school or something, but that's the kind of job I was BORN to do. I just need to figure out how to get myself in line for that job when the nanny retires." (In the picture, Greg is lecturing a dumpy-looking family of four, saying "Your house is a wreck, your kids have no manners, and ...hey, Mr. Johnson, you're not going OUT in that shirt, are you?")