Based on a series of American children’s books by Jeff Kinney, this classroom comedy uses a to-camera commentary and Kinney’s cartoon sketches to tell the tale of a self-centred kid who is so intent on being middle school’s most popular pupil that he’s forgotten how to be himself. If Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) were less analytical and more easy-going like his chubby chum Rowley Jefferson (Robert Capron), perhaps he wouldn’t get on everyone’s wick, including ours. That’s the problem: Gordon’s character is so unpleasant that you’re itching for someone to punch him. Had he – and everyone else – been a bit more likeable, we might have overlooked the fact that the film is an empty vessel: a dull, scattershot series of observational sketches that aren’t funny or enlightening. Granted, many ten year olds will identify with Greg’s situation. The question is whether they’ll stay awake to see the film through to its limp end.