The Heffleys are the main protagonists of the 2017 poorly received film Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. They are the family of the main protagonist, Greg. In The Long Haul movie adaptation, they were sadly flanderized.
Why They're #NotTheHeffleys Anymore
- Despite Fox's efforts of recasting the actors for the Heffley family, they do a poor job at looking and acting like the original characters from the previous films. They don't necessarily fit or match the roles of the original characters from the previous films at all. Ironically, while it is understandable that Zachary Gordon, Connor and Owen Fielding as Greg and Manny, have been recasted because they grew older to the point where they don't look like their characters anymore, there is no reason to recast Devon Bostick, Rachael Harris, and Steve Zahn as Rodrick, Susan, and Frank since they still look the same as their characters, even in 2017
- All of the family members are very unlikable as mentioned below.
- They lack the charm and charisma the original cast had.
- The characters are heavily flanderized and they often behave in a nonsensical, annoying, frustrating, and stupid manner.
- Instead of calling the cops about the Beardos, the Heffleys decide to chase them down and break into their hotel just to get their stuff back which in turn would make them look worse than the Beardos. While this happened in the original book, they at least have a reason to chase the Beardos and break into their hotel because they suspected that their valuables, like credit cards, have been stolen by the Beardos.
- They think that it is somehow fine to push their car at a very quick speed down the incredibly steep hill in front of Meemaw's house and get into the car as they do it. However, in real life, the family (except Greg, who was in the boat) would likely die due to the steepness of the hill and the car's speed, which should cause them to crash into the house.
- They have no real personality with Greg being the cliché main character, Rodrick being the rebellious teenager, Manny being the annoying younger sibling, Frank being the overworked parent, and Susan being the worst of all being a very controlling mother.
- Their chemistry with each other comes off as lousy, and mean-spirited, compared to the first three films where the family felt like a genuine family because the film makers didn't bother to test the chemistry between them, unlike the previous cast.
- He looks way too young to be a convincing twelve-year-old. Instead, he looks more like a second-grader, or even an 8-year-old kid.
- He did not tell his family about the Beardos, who are literally trying to kill him, yet he tries to hide this from his family (though this could be because he thinks he would be blamed for it, which is likely).
- He somehow thinks that Indianapolis is near Meemaw's house on a map that's scaled, and he should know that maps aren't like that, implying that he doesn't understand how maps work.
- He teaches a false and bad moral, which is "we need things like video games and smartphones to survive" in the beginning.
- He became more idiotic than he was in the first three films.
- Jason Drucker, who would later be in in the more well-received Transformers live action film, Bumblebee, did not do a good performance as him.
- Diaper Hands. That's it.
- She hardly acts or looks like her book or film counterpart, who was overall caring. In the previous films, Rachael Harris had brown hair and put in a good performance that matched the character's personality incredibly well and made her look like a convincing parent. Here, Alicia Silverstone has blonde hair and puts in a more threatening and aggressive performance that doesn't match up to the character at all and it makes her look more like a bitchy mean girl, an entitled Karen and somehow a criminal instead of a mother. Susan Heffley is also unpleasant in this film and very reminiscent of Buck Cluck in Chicken Little.
- She also has a massive ego in the movie and is a very selfish and immature mother, as she doesn't care about anybody but herself, as evidenced in many scenes where she yells constantly and bashes modern technology, belittles what her family likes and don't like while caring more about what she likes, and she does not care in the slightest that she humiliated Greg at the expo, and was more concerned about running the trip the way she wanted it. Even worse, she gets off scot-free with humiliating him at the expo. Even her apology seen nearly at the end of the movie would not excuse her for the things she did in the film, and the middle finger she brought to technology, and that was really wrong.
- She is a huge Mary Sue played by the shockingly wasted talent of Alicia Silverstone, who was in more well-received films like Clueless and the Golden Globe-nominated series Miss Match. Although Alicia was in bad films like Batman & Robin and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.
- Hypocrisy: In the third film, she said to Frank “you can’t take away what they love”. In this film, that's all she does here.
- There is one scene where Greg almost gets run over by a car, and she is more concerned about Manny taking a nap than Greg almost getting hurt and tells him to be careful because he almost woke up Manny. Instead of being grateful that her son wasn't killed or injured, Susan takes this for granted and is worried about something far less important. This just shows how horrible and neglectful Susan can be.
- Instead of trying to get their stuff back from the Beardos who stole it in the first place, she was more concerned about getting cleaned than getting their stuff back, which was the whole point of the attempt to break into the motel room in the first place.
- Overall, her character so unlikable and so selfish that you will hate her or actually be tolerant towards the other Heffley family members throughout the movie (despite them being unlikeable as well).
- He is an incredibly boring character, compared to Steve Zahn, who was way funnier and interesting.
- Also compared to Steve Zahn, Tom Everett Scott gives a bland performance in contrast to Zahn's eccentric and crazy performance. This is frustrating as Tom was in great films like La La Land and That Thing You Do, the latter of which also starred Steve Zahn, the actor that portrayed Frank in the first three Wimpy Kid movies.
- Like Greg, he became more idiotic than he was in the first three films.
- His appearance doesn't necessarily match the books or previous films with long hair, as his new actor lacks the proper look that Devon Bostick had, making him more like a cross of Dojo, Collette Tatou, Lil Tjay, Lord Farquaad, Edna Mode, Wyldstyle, Susan Murphy, and Aloysius O’Hare because all nine characters have nearly the same haircut, but this Rodrick didn’t have any of the likability those eight characters had.
- There was no good reason for 20th Century Fox to recast Devon Bostick in favor of Charlie Wright in the role. Not only is he a better fit for the character, but even in 2017, he looked around the same age as Rodrick. Unlike the other actors that portray the Heffley family, Charlie Wright starred in obscure films that doesn't look good on his acting range. His most recent good role was in Showtime's Yellowjackets and even then his role is very minor.
- Unlike the previous films, his personality felt fake and less than dimensional and is basically Rodrick but without the smuggish charm.
- Like his book counterpart, he still serves as an annoying brat, although not as much as in the previous films.
- Being played by the wasted talent of Dylan and Wyatt Walters, the actors don't have any other films that they starred in pretty much killing their careers before it even began.
- They did have a reason to replace Greg because Zachary Gordon has outgrown playing the character. Same can be said about Manny getting a new actor.
- Most of them realize their mistakes at the end and apologize to each other, even though some of the things they did aren't excusable.
- They were much more tolerable in the first three films, as well as the book series.
- In all fairness, the main problem with the family isn't the actors themselves, but the writing on them. None of the writers from the last three films returned leaving the Long Haul's director David Bowers and the series author Jeff Kinney to write the screenplay. Bowers only had one other writing credit (that being 2009's Astro Boy) and Jeff Kinney not being a professional screenwriter as he is an author. While a director writing their own movie is not a bad thing, as proven by Guillermo del Toro, Wes Anderson, and Martin Scorsese, usually a movie is written by someone other than the director, thus explaining why the writing went downhill here.
- The hashtag #NotMyRodrick, used to protest Rodrick's recasting, became a meme because Charlie Wright looks nothing like Devon Bostick. Charlie was even aware of this meme as shown on this Instagram post.
- Jason Drucker, who played Greg Heffley, would later play Otis Watson in Bumblebee, which would later be deemed an improvement over his performance as Greg.
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