Adapted from two books in Jeff Kinney’s popular children’s-lit series, Dog Days speaks to the profound truth in all of the “Diary” books—being a middle-schooler totally sucks. Summer is under way, and after Dad (Steve Zahn) unplugs the family video-game console, Greg (Zachary Gordon) and his awkward pals spend their vacation sneaking into country clubs, testing their outdoorsmanship and trying hard not to look like dorks in front of their crushes. A series of excessively antic broad-comic set pieces amps things up to an annoying degree, but director David Bowers transforms tweendom’s tiny struggles into an amusingly enormous drama. Viewers enduring early adolescence or those grappling with its psychic scars will recognize the honesty in the comic humiliation.
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