Movie Review: Ramona and Beezus

I’m biased.  I know.  I won’t even pretend otherwise.

My ABSOLUTE favorite book of all time is Ramona Quimby Age 8. There is no close second. 

I am Ramona and Ramona is me.  That crazy little kid with all the great ideas, that sometimes don’t turn out so great.  That kid who is forever trying her darnedest, but sometimes comes up short.  Who is perpetually dirty and a little off centered, but so completely wants to be that darn cutie girl that sits next to her in class.  Yes, me and Ramona have a lot in common.  And I’m sure I’m not the only one, because I see bits of that scraggly headed little girl in each of my children. 

And to further my expertise on the subject, I’ve read EVERY book by Beverley Cleary.  25 years ago you say? No.  25 minutes ago.

Well okay, I’m exaggerating, but I have re-read all the classic Cleary books the past few months with my little munchkins in anticipation of the movie, Ramona and Beezus. And so I admit that I am biased, and a very harsh critic when it comes to the subject of Ramona.  So can you imagine my reaction when I went to the movie, and realized that. . . . .

It was actually good. Really good. Dare I say Excellent?

I know, I’m shocked too.  I even cried.  Yes, I did.  I don’t think that was a normal reaction, and I don’t think anybody else in the theater cried, or in the world for that matter, but I did, because damn it, those Quimby’s are awesome.  It was if the actors weren’t actors at all, but rather they were the actual characters from the books, that had been plucked off the page and placed onto a full color screen.

I was really not expecting that.

Other things I wasn’t expecting.  . . . . . . .

1. The movie was a compilation of a series of Clearly books, not just Beezus and Ramona.
2. It was G-rated, and it was really G-rated.  No underlying tones of inappropriate adult humor. Perfect, perfect, family film.
3. The movie taught valuable lessons on family, love, job loss, parental squabbles and money issues in an endearing “unscary” but truthful way.
4. The cast was made up of crazy good actors including up and coming Joey King (Ramona),  Selena Gomez (Beezus), John Corbet (Mr. Quimby), Bridget Moynahan (Mrs. Quimby), Ginnifer Goodwin (Aunt Bea), Josh Duhamel (Uncle Hobart), and Sandra Oh (Ms. Meachum).

This is definitely a 5 star movie. Go take your whole family to enjoy it.  Now. And then, buy a house next to mine on Klickitat Street, and if you see my cat Picky Picky, please send her home.

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