Ramona and Beezus

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of accompanying my nine year old friend Grace to a “sneak peak” at the film Ramona and Beezus, which will be released in theaters on July 23. Honestly, it was a treat to take in this upbeat film, even though I haven’t personally read the famous Ramona books. The actors in the movie were fantastic, the plot moved quickly and the soundtrack had me singing along several times with some favorite tunes that make there way into the film.

Close to the opening of the movie, Ramona (wonderfully played by newcomer Joey King) shares the priceless line, “If you can’t be brave at recess, how can you do it when it really counts?” This pearl of wisdom is shared as her imagination takes her far away from the playground monkey bars to a perilous climb over a computer generated canyon – it’s the first of many fun CGI scenes in the film that give us a peek into little Ramona’s “overactive imagination”. I loved these whimsical moments in the film that remind you what a wonderful thing it can be to daydream, to visit faraway lands, and to see the bigger, bolder version of yourself – the version who’s ready to take on the world.

There are many laugh-out-loud moments in Ramona and Beezus, and I’ll admit to shedding a tear once or twice too. As a “Daddy’s girl” myself, my favorite scenes in the film occurred between Ramona and her father (John Corbett), who tries to keep a brave face in the midst of being downsized into unemployment. I also love Ramona’s scenes with her adorable Aunt Bea (Ginnifer Goodwin), and also loved the unfolding gentle love story between Bea and her old high school flame Hobart.

A consistent theme in Ramona and Beezus echoes with Ramona’s telling words, “I can be extraordinary” – this is a little girl whose exuberant energy frequently gets her and her family into trouble – big and little! But the truth is, Ramona keeps trying to help her family and to be a better version of herself. Her teacher, wonderfully played by Sandra Oh, has a regrettably small role in the film but a big impact on the Quimby family in the end.

Sadly, I’m unable to speak to the film’s treatment of the Ramona books. But I will say that if you’re looking for a nice family film, or a special date with your favorite little girl, Ramona and Beezus looks like a winner. Grace, who is a truly extraordinary nine year old, would definitely concur!

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About Author

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of the Chime Travelers children's fiction series, The Grace of Yes, The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. As a board member and frequent host on KNXT Catholic Television, Lisa has produced and hosted multiple programs and has appeared on EWTN and CatholicTV. Hendey hosted “Catholic Moments” on Radio Maria and is the technology contributor for EWTN’s SonRise Morning Show. Lisa's articles have appeared in Catholic Digest, National Catholic Register, and Our Sunday Visitor. Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and Catholic technology and communications topics. She was selected as an Elizabeth Egan Journalism Fellow, attended the Vatican Bloggers Meeting, the “Bishops and Bloggers” meeting and has written internationally on the work of Catholic Relief Services and Unbound. Hendey lives with her family in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Visit Lisa at www.LisaHendey.com for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish or organization.

3 Comments

  1. Beverly Cleary created some wonderful characters. I don’t think the movie has to stick strictly to the books as long as it brings those characters to life. Sounds like it does!

  2. I was a huge Ramona fan as a child and cannot wait to take my own daughters to see this film. I’ve been gently encouraging my eight year old to read the Ramona series before seeing the movie. Hopefully she will not be disappointed comparing the Ramona in her head with the one on the big screen.

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