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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ramona and Beezus: Get thee to a theater!

Even though his sister is older than he is, I'm sure my son would agree with the movie's tag line: "A little sister goes a long way..."

Ramona and Beezus is for anyone who lives with a 9 year-old girl or who loves a 9 year-old girl or who ever WAS a 9 year-old girl. And the boys who surround them as well.

This G-rated film opens Friday, July 23, and is based on the long-beloved books by Beverly Cleary. The first book in the series about Ramona and her older sister, Beatrice, Beezus and Ramona, was published in 1955 and has delighted generations of girls with its timeless and universal themes.

Tessa and I got to attend a pre-screening event (disclosure: value $13) and were both wowed by the film. Not only that, but I got to join a conference call with the stars of the show, Selena Gomez (18 -- birthday today! -- a Disney star of Wizards of Waverly Place fame) as Beatrice and the amazing Joey King (9, a relative newcomer who also has a July birthday) as the enchanting and irrepressible Ramona.

Ramona has an active imagination, obvious in the first scene. She is surrounded by less colorful yet still lovable adults: her humorless but kind teacher (Sandra Oh), her mom (Bridget Moynahan), and her just laid-off dad (John Corbett). Members of the family face trials common to many, such as a home renovation, loss of a job, money woes, arguing parents, mean kids at school, lovelorn relatives, needing each other and needing space from each other.

The girls did a fantastic job relaying the love/hate relationships that can exist between sisters. I asked them how they brought that tightness to the screen. Selena explained "It was just so easy with Joey. We decided to become sisters before we started filming. We did everything together."

"Yeah," chimed in Joey. "We just clicked. We hung out at Starbucks, we had sleepovers, we just really like being together. It wasn't hard at all."

I also found out that Joey is allergic to cats, which makes her acting all that much more amazing, as a cat figures prominently in several scenes. Selena reports that the cat was more of a diva than anyone else on the set, and that filming took place around the cat's schedule.

The girls also noted that the film had a timeless quality. "Did you notice that there were no cell phones in it? No computers?" asked Selena. The scenes could have taken place in any of the last four decades.

Make plans to go see Ramona and Beezus. It's not just a feel-good movie. It's a feel-BONDed movie. Tessa and I are doing high thumb bumps.

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5 chiming in:

Amanda said...

I fondly remember reading the books as a child and can't wait to see the movie!

DaisyGal said...

I loved these books as a child and even the previews look adorable..I can't wait to see it!!!!!

Sheri said...

I loved Beverly Cleary's books as I was growing up.

I was a nine year old girl (not so many years ago) and know of a very special one. Sounds like one to see.

Would my three teenage boys like the movie?

--didn't think so... :)

Kristin said...

I loved Cleary's books growing up. Sounds like a great movie.

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