Cast: Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn, Devon Bostick, Connor And Owen Fielding, Chloe Moretz, Grayson Russell, Laine Macnei, Karan Brar, Alex Ferris, Andrew Mcnee, Rob Labelle, Kaye Capron, Alf Humphreys, Jennifer Clement, Belita Moreno, Harrison Houde, Owen Best
Plot / Synopsis:
11-year-old Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) is anxious to start middle school, confident he will easily become the school's most popular kid. However, Greg worries about how his "childlike" best friend, Rowley Jefferson (Robert Capron), will fit in. While Rowley is a good friend who helps Greg escape his terrorizing older brother, Rodrick (Devon Bostick), Greg worries that Rowley's "dorky" clothes and personality will embarrass both of them.
On their first day, Greg and Rowley meet Angie Steadman (Chloe Moretz), a seventh grader who works for the school's paper. Throughout the school year, Angie gives Greg and Rowley information about the workings of middle school, which she believes was created to store kids while they make the awkward transition between children to teenagers. Classmate Chirag Gupta (Karan Brar) tells Greg and Rowley the story behind the moldy slice of Swiss cheese laying on the school's basketball court; upon touching the cheese, a kid named Darren Walsh (Harrison Houde) contracted the Cheese Touch; anyone who touches the cheese will create chaos as they pass on the Cheese Touch by touching someone else. The Cheese Touch eventually got taken away by a German exchange student named Dieter Müller, who moved back to Düsseldorf and took the Cheese Touch with him.
Greg is determined to be voted a "class favorite" and listed in the yearbook, but each of his attempts to do so backfire. His popularity quickly drops as he loses to Patty Farrell (Laine MacNeil), Greg's archenemy, and Fregley (Grayson Russell), the weirdest and 201st most popular (past the bottom) kid in school, in scholastic wrestling (taught by Coach Malone, portrayed by Andrew McNee); Greg angers teenagers on Halloween night by threatening to call the cops on them after they spray him and Rowley with a fire extinguisher, and then damages their eight-generation Ford F150 pickup truck with a weed whacker; Greg joins the geeky Safety Patrol with Rowley; and breaks Rowley's left hand during winter vacation during a game Greg invented with his Big Wheel. At school, everyone notices Rowley's broken hand and Rowley becomes very popular, much to Greg's dismay. Rowley's popularity increases when he beats Greg to become the school paper's cartoonist, despite Greg's dismissal of his ideas.Greg found a cheese ball pizza.
Greg and Rowley's friendship falls apart after Greg allows Rowley to take the blame for a mistake Greg made during Safety Patrol. After Greg tells Rowley the truth and tries to tell it as a joke, Rowley berates him for being a bad friend who cares about nothing but himself. When Mr. Winsky, the Safety Patrol teacher, heard what had actually happened, he told Greg that he was now relieved of his Safety Patrol duties "effective immediately", and promotes Rowley to a captain. Rowley then leaves Greg and befriends a kid named Collin Lee (Alex Ferris). Greg tries to move on by having a sleep over with Fregley, but Fregley's sugar-induced hyperactivity is too much for him to take. He then tries to pursue popularity without Rowley by auditioning for the school play of The Wizard of Oz, but ruins the performance by starting an apple-throwing fight with Patty when she throws a temper tantrum in the middle of the performance.
At the school mother-son dance, Greg's mother (Rachael Harris) suggests Greg ask Rowley to go out for ice cream with them. However, Collin tells Greg that he and Rowley already have plans. Later, Greg is excited when Rowley comes up to him in school, but is disappointed when he learns Rowley only wants a game back. Greg refuses to return the game, causing them to get into an argument. Kids gather around them, wanting them to fight, but are quickly dispelled when the teenagers that Greg and Rowley had angered on Halloween drive up, looking for revenge. The kids find the Cheese and make Rowley eat it. They are about to force Greg to eat the cheese when Coach Malone arrives, leading the kids to run away.
The children return and find the partially eaten cheese. Patty begins to accuse Rowley, but Greg steps in and takes the blame. He picks up the cheese and makes a profound speech about the ridiculousness of the cheese and other middle school institutions, but Patty ruins it when she shouts out that Greg has the Cheese Touch, causing everyone to run away from Greg. Greg and Rowley make up, and Angie approaches them to compliment Greg for his bravery. Greg and Rowley make it into the class favorites list as "cutest friends". The film ends with Greg, Rowley, and Angie laughing after Patty hugged Rowley and contracted the Cheese Touch, and Greg narrating that he still has the summer and next year ahead of him.