The Heffley’s are a typical American family—the kids are addicted to the Internet, mom wants more bonding and less time on the phone, and all dad would like is some peace and quiet. In the latest film adaptation of Jeff Kinney’s popular series of children’s books, parents Susan (Alicia Silverstone) and Frank (Tom Everett Scott) force their kids Greg (Jason Ian Drucker), Rodrick (Charlie Wright), and Manny (Dylan Walters) to head out on a road trip for their grandma’s ninetieth birthday party in Indiana. Greg is determined to find a way out of social-media infamy after an embarrassing video of him goes viral, while his big brother Rodrick finds humor in tormenting the wimpy kid as he seeks redemption. The family encounter plenty of roadblocks during their journey, and end up learning to not only tolerate each other, but appreciate the bonds they all share.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is a lighthearted and zany tribute to the classic family-road-trip narrative. While somewhat lacking in depth, the film unapologetically attempts to tackle themes like bridging the generation gap and fighting addictive social-media culture with goofy conflicts and toilet humor. Good for an afternoon of fun for kids and parents alike, screenwriters David Bowers and Kinney manage to deliver a scrapbook of memories that will leave everyone in the audience with a smile on their face during the drive home.