The Misadventures of Cheri

Mortifying my kids one swimsuit at a time

“Ramona and Beezus” Movie Review

on July 23, 2010

I’m a book reader. I have been ever since I could read. I remember in the first grade boys making fun of me for reading oversized Beatrix Potter books. I told my mom and she said they were just jealous because they were too stupid to read. Aren’t moms great?

Anyway, as an elementary student, many of the Ramona Quimby books were being published. And I fell head over heels in love with Ramona and everyone in the books. Some of my fondest memories include getting the “new Ramona book” and reading the whole thing in one sitting. Luckily, I passed the same love onto my daughter who read the series a couple of years ago.

Imagine my utter shock when I was contacted by Allied Integrated Marketing and asked if I would be willing to review “Ramona and Beezus.” Utter shock doesn’t really describe it.  A few days later, my daughter and I found ourselves at a screening . . . . . . we were beside ourselves with joy.

The movie was wonderful.  Obviously they tried very hard to cram eight books into one movie. Therefore, the movie didn’t follow the books exactly.  But it stayed so true to the spirit of the story lines and characters that the inaccuracies didn’t bother me in the least.  Many of Ramona’s most classic moments were depicted in the movie including my favorite, which has to do with guts.

I also feel the movie was very true to who Ramona’s family was portrayed in the books.  They were never portrayed as extremely well off, so there weren’t any mini-mansions to be seen.  And though the movie wasn’t set in the time period the books were written in, there was a timelessness to it made it feel as if it could have taken place at any point in time.

On a side note – the movie takes place in Portland, OR where the books took place.  It was filmed in Vancouver, B.C. but the attention to Portland detail flat out blew my mind.  I live in the Portland metro area so I’m pretty familiar with all things PDX.  In one scene, Ramona has a brief encounter with a city bus driver.  The bus driver had on a real Tri-Met uniform.  Hello!!   The high school Beezus attends is a real high school in Portland, as well as the elementary school Ramona attends.  Along with so many other things that it would take too long to list.

For me, the simple ink drawings in the books are as important as the story is.  In the movie they brilliantly include the drawings.  Want to know how (and trust me, it’s brilliant)?  Go see the movie!!!!!

In short, the story was fantastic, definitely a feel good flick for the summer.  The acting was top notch . . . and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Selena Gomez as Beezus.  She did a fantastic job portraying a teenaged girl who at one minute loved her little sister and the next minute didn’t.  I felt it was a very real picture of a teenage girl.  And Joey King as Ramona – even her hair was spot on!!

I would recommend taking anyone who is old enough to sit through a movie to see it.   Family values are at the forefront of this movie and you won’t be disappointed in any stand the characters take.   And for those of us who felt Mrs. Cleary was writing the books specifically for us (am I the only one that thought that??), this will be a very sweet walk down memory lane.


2 responses to ““Ramona and Beezus” Movie Review

  1. becc says:

    I loved those books too; can’t wait to see the movie on dvd (alas toddler and baby are not moviegoers yet!) I had the coolest paper dolls (these as a kid…they should re release them now that the movie is out! They were the best!
    I think it’s so cool you got to see a ‘screening’ for free!

  2. Michelle A says:

    Beverly Cleary was and IS one of my favorite authors. I still have many of my original books, that I occasionally will pick up and read straight through. My favorite book was Ellen Tibbetts. I think I will go take my kids to the movies to see this one! Thanks for the review!

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