Spoiler level: high
My daughter loves these books, so we went out to see the movie last weekend.
It's a fun little movie. It definitely brings back the horrors of high school life. Well, middle school life, but it was called Jr. High back in my day, and it didn't improve in the slightest in Sr. High, so same difference. No matter what you call it, it's still a world of ridiculing over some of the most microscopic, pointless details.
Our hero, Greg Heffley, is trying to not only survive but thrive in middle school, and find a way to be remembered in the year book. Which of course means a lot of selling out of his own values and his friends, only to learn in the end that the values of middle school are all meaningless. And it manages to do it without getting sappy.
The big example of this throughout the movie is the Cheese Touch. There's a piece of rotting cheese on the basketball court, and anyone who touches it now has the "Cheese Touch" and is shunned. The climax of the movie has Greg holding the cheese high and telling the class how pointless it is and that he's no longer afraid of the Cheese Touch, and that they can all be free of it if they want to be.
When we left the theater, my wife asked my daughter if they had anything like the Cheese Touch in her school.
"Oh yeah," she answered. "We have the Pineapple Touch. Supposedly someone wiped a booger on a picture of a pineapple painted on the wall in the hallway, and now if anyone touches the pineapple, everyone says they have the Pineapple Touch."
"So, have you ever gotten the Pineapple Touch?" my wife asked.
"Yeah. I told them they were all being stupid and rubbed my whole body against the pineapple. But now they've painted over the pineapple so I'm stuck with it."
"Well good for you!" I said. "I was going to ask if you got the point of the movie, but you already got it from the book!"
"Actually, that scene wasn't in the book," my daughter replied. Which makes me even prouder of her. But I digress.
Speaking of boogers, there's a good amount of juvenile humor featuring boogers and pee, but hey, that's the target audience.
So all in all it's a fun little movie, much in the same vein of "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" but without the slapstick. My daughter really enjoyed it and so did my wife and I.