Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret review: A charming adaptation of the Judy Blume classic

Judy Blume’s cautious stance toward Hollywood has been evident throughout her prolific career spanning over five decades. Despite captivating generations of young readers with her candid and relatable YA novels, the acclaimed author has remained hesitant about adapting her works for the screen. While a few attempts have been made, such as 2012’s Tiger Eyes and the ’90s series Fudge, some of her most beloved books have remained untouched by filmmakers.

One such cherished work is Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, a groundbreaking coming-of-age tale that fearlessly explores topics like menstruation and religion alongside the universal challenges of adolescence. After more than 50 years since its publication, Blume’s iconic novel is finally making its cinematic debut. Surprisingly, the film adaptation stays true to the essence of the book while injecting it with a refreshing and contemporary charm, making it a delightful and faithful interpretation.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Kelly Fremon Craig brings her adept storytelling skills to the forefront once again with her latest project, breathing life into Judy Blume’s beloved novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Departing from her previous teen comedy, Craig focuses on the awkward journey of 11-year-old Margaret Simon, portrayed with delightful charm by Abby Ryder Fortson. As Margaret navigates the challenges of moving to a new suburb, forging friendships, and grappling with the mysteries of puberty, Fortson captures the essence of adolescence with relatable authenticity.

Rachel McAdams and Benny Safdie portray Margaret’s supportive yet unconventional parents, whose decision to raise their daughter without religious affiliation prompts Margaret to explore her own beliefs. Set against the backdrop of 1970s New Jersey, the film embraces the era’s cultural nuances while delving into timeless themes of self-discovery and acceptance. In a climate where censorship of children’s literature persists, Margaret’s narrative resonates profoundly, offering a refreshing and candid perspective on topics like menstruation.

Amidst its poignant moments, the film also brims with humor, particularly in Margaret’s awkward encounters and family dynamics. Kathy Bates delivers a standout performance as Margaret’s formidable grandmother, infusing the story with warmth and wit. Overall, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret emerges as a heartwarming celebration of girlhood, capturing the essence of Blume’s cherished novel with sincerity and charm.

 

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