In the third instalment of the amiable family series, Greg (Zachary Gordon) is looking forward to the summer holidays. Hatching a scheme to spend his time with loyal buddy Rowley (Robert Capron) at his family's glitzy country club, he hopes he can get better acquainted with foxy classmate Holly Hills (Peyton List). However, he's cursed with a series of pride-sapping mishaps... and it looks like it's going to be one hot, long summer.
Last year's Judy Moody and the not Bummer Summer made enjoying the summer holidays look like a task of Herculean proportions.
But Diary of a Wimpy Kid's Greg has more modest aspirations. His perfect summer would, he claims, involve nothing more than playing videos games all day. And eating crisps.
It's not going to happen though, not if Greg's mum and dad have anything to do with it.
When dad enrols him in the local scouts troupe in an attempt to spend some quality time together and mum sets up a "Reading is Fun" club, prompting horrified looks from his friends ("Let's see what's up with Amy, Beth, Meg and Jo!") Greg hatches a plan instead to spend the summer with loyal friend Rowley at his family's glitzy Country Club.
He may have to pretend to his parents that he has a job but at least it means he can spend the next few weeks hanging out with butter wouldn't-melt-in-your-mouth classmate Holly Hills.
It's good to see cinema's favourite high school underdog out of the classroom and yes, a little bit more grown-up. And, as was the case with this film's two predecessors, the characters are unusually charming for a simple kid's film.
Greg is not a nerdtastic mini-Napolean Dynamite, just a believably sheepish teenage boy. His dad too, played by Steve Zahn, is very likeable; much of the film focuses on their changing relationship and the outcome, though predictable (they have more in common that they think at first) is deftly delivered, without crude moralising.
Unashamedly a kid's flick or at least one for tweenagers, there are truths in the Heffley family that audiences of all ages will recognise.
Every dog has its day, after all.