Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Fans of Judy Blume’s popular 1970 coming-of-age novel, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, may have been apprehensive about how the film adaptation would turn out. Early reactions seem to show unanimous approval, and it’s very likely that the movie will be just as successful as the book.
The story recounts the experiences of an 11-year-old as she anticipates puberty and navigates the universal challenges associated with this time of transition. Margaret (Abby Ryder Fortson) is hugely disappointed when her parents (played by Rachel McAdams and Benny Safdie) announce that the family will be leaving New York and settling in suburban New Jersey. She is sad about leaving behind her fun grandma, Sylvia (Kathy Bates), and apprehensive about fitting in at a different school. Upon reaching her new home, however, she is surprised when the vivacious girl next door, Nancy (Elle Graham), immediately draws her into a new world. For the first time, the protagonist finds herself thinking (and worrying) about boys, bras, periods and even some of the great questions of life, such as the existence of a god and the complications of family ties.
A charming, honest and fresh look at the reality of being a preteen girl, Blume’s story may be over 50 years old, but such a candid portrayal of prepubescent life was well overdue on the big screen. The female perspectives of the author and of director Kelly Fremon Craig make the storytelling all the more authentic, especially when coupled with the strong performances of the protagonists. The leading ladies represent three generations of womanhood (Forston as young Margaret, McAdams as an art teacher and stay-at-home mum, and grandma Sylvia as a senior enjoying a second youth), thus giving an well-rounded picture of what each phase of life can bring.
Although somewhat predictable in its development, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is exquisitely fun for people of all ages – and it also has educational value in that it can facilitate important conversations within families.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is released nationwide on 19th May 2023.
Watch the trailer for Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret here: