Images: Lionsgate

Do you bear in mind what puberty was like for you? This coming-of-age movie will remind you with its effervescent humour, lightheartedness, and sudden heat.

How arduous did puberty hit you? I’m glad I’ve survived that part, although conflict flashbacks nonetheless hang-out me. The ugly pimples, undesirable hair development, and hormonal adjustments could also be par for the course, however I want I’d recognized about them sooner. That manner, I’d be higher ready for what was to come back. However I needed to study it the arduous manner – and that’s what 11-year-old Margaret goes by way of on this film. As I sat by way of the movie, it felt like I used to be re-experiencing my adolescent years, gender however. Warning: gentle spoilers forward.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret evaluation: The beginning of one thing new

Set within the Nineteen Seventies, the film begins with a montage of the titular character at summer time camp. We see Margaret Simon having the time of her life: basking in nature, laughing, and having enjoyable together with her buddies. She returns to New York a cheerful woman, excitedly greeting her mom, Barbara, and grandmother, Sylvia.

The women return to their condo, the place Margaret finds out her mother and father are uprooting from the town to New Jersey. She’s understandably upset as her of us attempt to appease her. Her grandmother is sad however resigned to the choice. Think about relocating from Sentosa Cove to Ulu Pandan – that’s in all probability how Margaret feels. That is when she begins having one-sided conversations with God.

Because the trio settle into their suburban house, a neighbour pops over. Meet Nancy Wheeler, who rapidly befriends Margaret. That is when the latter first interacts with Moose Freed and develops a crush on him. You may actually see her making coronary heart eyes at him! Ah, younger love.

The subsequent day, our gal goes to her new faculty and is welcomed into Nancy’s group. They kind a secret clique, the place they hang around after faculty to speak about their crushes and train to spice up their bust measurement. This marks the beginning of Margaret’s journey into puberty. Nonetheless, it’s not simply her experiencing adjustments.

Barbara resolves to be a stay-at-home guardian to spend time together with her daughter whereas Herb, her husband and Margaret’s father, goes to work. We see Barbara grappling together with her lack of identification and attempting to determine what to do with a lot free time on her palms. In the meantime, Sylvia’s craving for her granddaughter. She rings the home daily to talk to Margaret and make future plans.

Woman gone (not fairly) wild

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret film review
Images: Lionsgate

Margaret learns about puberty by way of varied movie sequences, corresponding to getting her first bra, discovering menstruation, and shopping for sanitary pads. Author-director Kelly Fremon Craig deftly tackles these scenes with humour and lightheartedness, making them really feel much less documentary-like.

The theatre erupts with laughter on the proper locations as our heroine navigates the situations with earnest innocence. Abby Ryder Fortson, our lead, is a pleasure to observe. Usually, I’d write off younger characters as they’re annoying and may weigh a present down, however Abby as Margaret received me over. Kudos!

It’s not simply puberty that Margaret has to take care of: she additionally has to deal with a year-long analysis project on her spiritual identification. Whereas her father’s a Jew and her mom’s a Christian, they select to not elevate her in both religion till she’s able to resolve. Margaret asks Sylvia to take her to a synagogue throughout a weekend go to; she additionally attends mass together with her buddy Janie Loomis. After all, there are her conversations with God too.

As somebody nonetheless coming to phrases along with his spiritual beliefs, I wasn’t delay by this improvement. I imply, the film’s known as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret! Divinity is the movie’s core and it didn’t really feel overtly preachy.

Lastly discovering the explanations to imagine

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret film review
Images: Lionsgate

The subsequent act sees Margaret dealing with conflicts that problem her additional. She will get advised off by a classmate everybody ostracises for being extra developed bodily. Her deliberate Florida journey to go to Sylvia is cancelled because of the arrival of Barbara’s mother and father – Margaret’s maternal grandparents – whom she’s by no means met. We study the explanation behind this, which ends up in an argument that causes the tween to yell on the adults.

Now, I received’t fully spoil the final act for you, however that is when our lead character comes into her personal and doesn’t let others affect her. She’s totally conscious of Nancy’s purple flags and breaks by way of to Moose. And she or he lastly will get what she’s been asking God for. There are tears, pleasure and aid. Barbara’s comfortable ending additionally impacted me and made me replicate. The story could also be a couple of woman on the precipice of puberty, however it’s relatable to adults too. It’s as if Kelly is telling us to not dismiss it as one other teen flick!

The largest lesson I gleaned from the movie is when Margaret submitted her project to her instructor. It highlighted that, above the rest, you must think about your self so you possibly can go forth and tackle all challenges. It doesn’t matter in case you succeed, as long as your self-belief by no means wavers.

An uplifting movie that’ll carry a smile to your face

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret film review
Images: Lionsgate

Amidst the shiny Barbie launch and the terrifying Oppenheimer epic, Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret is a ray of sunshine that treads acquainted floor for moviegoers. The film could also be set in America within the Nineteen Seventies, however it showcases evergreen subjects which might be talked about at this time, despite the fact that we’ve no definitive methods of coping with them.

I daresay it’s an correct depiction, particularly in Singapore the place colleges are nonetheless uncertain how one can correctly focus on puberty with adolescents. Scenes of the women taking recommendation from books and magazines, and even the menstruation portion, are issues that we’ve finished within the throes of puberty.

That mentioned, despite the fact that the film feels relatable, some elements might not ring true to our Asian society. I imply, do you recall your mother and father brazenly speaking about this stuff with you? Maybe it’s a sure for some, however it undoubtedly wasn’t the case for me. Additionally, I can’t talk about intervals and rising boobs since my data is proscribed to anecdotes from these open to discussing them.

Whereas Abby did a marvellous job together with her portrayal, I reserve my reward for Rachel McAdams, who performs her mom. Her performing is pure and easy, and her crying scenes actually touched me. Kathy Bates is just a little underutilised on this movie however nonetheless powers by way of at any time when she seems on the display. A particular shoutout to her wigs: they give the impression of being nice and really feel like precise characters themselves.

Although I didn’t learn the e book the movie is tailored from, I really feel compelled to select it up now. I’m uncertain if I’ll discover something new from it… however perhaps I’ll reconnect with my inside adolescent. If that occurs, I’ll inform him all the pieces will end up high quality – simply belief the method and think about your self.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is now displaying at The Projector.

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