"Ramona and Beezus" opens Friday July 23 in local theaters
Children's author, Beverly Cleary, has reached the hearts of young girls for the past fifty years with her timeless "Ramona" series. These eight books, which look at the imaginative and often misuderstood antics of Ramona Quimby have been wildly popular with kids and parents alike.
Now Ramona is hitting the big screen in the film "Ramona and Beezus".
The movie, starring newcomer Joey King as Ramona and Grand Praire-native Selena Gomez as big sister Beezus, hits theaters Friday July 23. Other well-known actors such as Ginnifer Goodwin, Bridget Moynahan, Josh Duhamel, Sandra Oh and John Corbitt round out the cast. “Ramona and Beezus” is a breath of fresh air for those parents wanting to take the entire family to the theater for a movie-watching experience everyone will enjoy. This film follows the antics of one highly-creative nine year old girl, Ramona Quimby, as she attempts to save the day for her family. Inspired by the characters created by author Beverly Cleary in the 1950’s, “Ramona and Beezus” takes a timeless look at sibling interaction, family stress (true to the book, Mr. Q looses his job in the movie), and how a little imagination and a lot of love can carry one far in this world.
Those familiar with Ramona, will find some very familiar content in the film, from how Ramona makes a kitty cat out of the ”Q” in her last name to her infamous yelling of a bad word (no fear, parents, Ramona’s “bad word” is the quite tame) to the quiet nod to Ramona’s beloved red rain boots. For those who might never have poured over the pages of a Beverly Cleary story, “Ramona and Beezus” will still hold quite a bit of charm. Joey King who portrays Ramona, nails the whimsical spirit of this character, providing a smile and large eyes that illuminate the screen during the course of the movie. Selena Gomez, although a bit glamorous to portray someone named “Beezus”, is able to dispel a convincing amount of big sister advice while maintaining a sense of annoyance at Ramona’s behaviors.
My main complaint with the movie is that it is long (104 minutes to be exact). At times, it felt like the writers attempted to incorporate too many details from the books into the movie, thus creating something that bogged viewers down in places. I believe the overall quality of the movie would have been improved if about 20 minutes of this film had been left on the editing room floor (mainly the love story between Beezus and Henry Hudgins, which just felt a bit wrong on some level).
I greatly enjoyed the movie “Ramona and Beezus”. I appreciated how it strived to remain true to these characters that were created over 60 years ago by a very talented children’s author. I respected its attempts to portray the difficult nature of family relationships in a way that is understandable to both child and adult. I was thankful that the movie told a solid story that is both timeless and applicable to today’s family.
And I am forever grateful that the movie was free from talking animals and potty humor and opted to create a movie watching experience the the entire family can enjoy.
“Ramona and Beezus”, rated G, hits theaters Friday July 23rd