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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (2023) - A Timeless Tale for a New Generation

Rating: ★★★★☆(4/5 stars)

Released 04-28-2023

Watched 12-28-2023

Reviewed 01-01-2023

Watched on Hulu

"Are you there, God? It’s me Margaret Simon. I just wanted… Well. First, I’ve heard a lot of great things about you."

"Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret," the 2023 film adaptation of Judy Blume's iconic 1970 novel, captures the essence of growing up with an engaging blend of humor, heartache, and honesty. Directed with a sensitive touch, the movie offers a window into the world of eleven-year-old Margaret, brilliantly portrayed by a young actress who brings depth and relatability to the role. As she navigates a new town and the complexities of adolescence, Margaret's journey of self-discovery and her relationships with her mother, Barbara, and grandmother, Sylvia, are beautifully depicted.

What stands out in this adaptation is its faithfulness to the original book. Fans of Blume's novel will appreciate the film's dedication to retaining the story's core themes, such as identity, faith, and the tumultuous road to adulthood. The movie's approach to these subjects feels true to the spirit of the book, which was celebrated for its realistic portrayal of young adolescent anxieties. It's a commendable effort that bridges generations, resonating with those who grew up with the book while introducing new audiences to Margaret's timeless story.

However, as someone who hasn't read the novel, I found certain aspects of the movie a bit meandering. At times, the plot seemed to lose focus, leaving me questioning the direction and purpose of some story arcs. This might stem from the movie's adherence to the book, which could have translated into a narrative that feels less cohesive on screen than it does on paper. Despite this, the film's emotional core and the universal themes it explores remain impactful.

The movie is particularly resonant for families with pre-teen or tween girls, offering a relatable and comforting reflection of their experiences. That said, its appeal might not be as broad for boys of the same age. The film's exploration of early-adolescent challenges, particularly those unique to girls, might not resonate as strongly with a young male audience, potentially leading to confusion or disinterest.

In conclusion, "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" is a thoughtful, well-crafted film that succeeds in bringing a beloved story to life. It's a must-watch for fans of the novel and a worthwhile experience for those interested in a heartfelt story about growing up. While it may not captivate every viewer, its strengths make it a valuable addition to the genre of family and coming-of-age films.


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