Okay, I admit it. I went into the screening for this film, “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul,” with rather low expectations. But it won me over. It is laugh-out-loud funny in not just one, but several scenes. I don’t want to give them all away, but in one scene young Manny wins a baby pig at a County Fair and the kids slip it into their van. The three of them—Greg, Rodrick, and Manny—are on vacation with their folks. When the pig decides to do its business, the look on their faces in the scene of the entire family sticking their heads out the window and crying for mercy is priceless. In another scene, when the family turns the heat on to try and deal with an overheating problem with the van (the idea is that the heat will be driven out and cool down the van), the cinnamon rolls in a can explode and suddenly they have gooey, and warm, dough on their heads and faces. All Rodrick knows is that he heard an explosion, and now he thinks he’s been “hit” and his brains are hanging out of his head. His panicking is not to be missed. It is a very funny scene.
Greg and Rodrick do lie to their parents and sneak out to a game expo with an excuse they are going uptown to buy “Meemaw” a birthday present for her 90th birthday. But they are caught red-handed and later realize the error of their ways. Greg gives a heartfelt apology to Mom (Alicia Silverstone). They wind up sharing some memorable family moments, and, as Greg later explains, “I don’t think we’ll win any ‘Family of the Year’ awards but we definitely had an adventure.” And the youngest, Manny, even learns some Spanish and uses it, thanks to Mom’s Spanish language CD she plays in the van while they are traveling. There are a few crude moments in the movie, but there’s also a lot to relate to and laugh about. We are pleased to present this movie our Dove Family-Approved Seal for ages 12-plus. Somebody in this movie will remind you of a family member!