“Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” Answers the Call

by Christian Ramos on May 9, 2023

in Print Reviews,Reviews

[Rating: Rock Fist Way Up]

In 1970 one book was so radical for young readers, it still appears on lists of the most challenged books. Judy Blume’s novel (FINALLY) turned film Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret enters a new era where the topics explored in Margarets world are still taboo. This teen dramedy explores the world of a young girl questioning her own life and if she’s moving too fast in growing up.

Margaret Simon (Abby Ryder Forston) lives in New York City with her mother Barbara (Rachel McAdams) and father Herb (Benny Safdie). When the family announces dads new job is going to send them into the suburbs, away from even grandma Sylvia (Kathy Bates) Margaret has to adjust to this new life. She’s already going through her awkward phase as a sixth grader. When she meets Nancy Wheeler (Elle Graham) and her group of friends, Margaret soon discovers more about herself than she might feel comfortable. She is pulled into asking mom for a bra, wondering about when she’ll get her first period and worries about a neighborhood boy she likes. Barbara on the other hand, not used to domestic life, fills time doing job after job for the PTA in the hopes to find some happiness. Even Sylvia, missing her family vacations to Florida to hang with people her own age. Margaret then goes on a journey of self discovery when it is revealed her mother doesn’t speak to her own family based on religious differences.

I have never read this book, but believe me I raced to the Barnes and Noble next door to get a copy. I was hooked the second this started because of the light-heartedness of it all. Not once does it make you feel down about yourself. This film just makes you chuckle along and feel for this young girl who just wants to grow up, even if she doesn’t know what the hell that means. 

Director Kelly Fremon Craig who won me over with 2016s The Edge of Seventeen won me over with this. She understands the teen dynamic. No more are we getting the teen movies of the early 2000s that focus on teens losing virginity, but now we are getting sophisticated teen dramedies that make us think of when we were awkward teens. I’m so glad that when I saw this it was filled with an audience that reacted well. Check out this film as soon as possible, period.

Christian Ramos is a classic film fan, having had the dream to host Turner Classic Movies for years now. He also has a large amount of Oscar trivia in his head, remembers dressing as Groucho Marx one Halloween, and cherishes the moment Julianne Moore liked his tweet.


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