Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret is a best selling Judy Blume book about young girls dealing with puberty, religious pressure and just the reality of growing up. This movie adaptation is faithful to the book and a beautiful portrayal of youth and growing up.
The first thing that I want to note about this movie is that it brought up so much about that time in my life. The accuracy in which it portrays 12 year old girls is incredible and somewhat upsetting. The idea of getting your first bra, the concept of ever looking forward to getting your period, crushes on boys and spin the bottle. We all have so many similar or even exact experiences.
Margaret’s parents raising her without religion is also one of the world’s best parenting choices. Did it make things a little harder for her as she tried to figure things out by herself? Sure it did, but that's better than realizing you don’t want to take part in religion as an adult because it was forced on you as a child. Her dad makes an excellent point “You know what cured my wanting to go to temple…going to temple”. And he is absolutely correct. A lot of adults that are forced into a religion as children don’t have any interest in it as an adult. However as the movie progressed it was met with an equally poor parenting decision and that was her parents telling her she couldn’t go to Florida. Margaret’s mom decides to reconcile with her parents and somehow that leads to Margaret not getting to go on a vacation that was promised to her. Look I don’t care what you think your reasons are but if you tell your child they get to do something, and they've done nothing wrong, then they get to do that thing. You dealing with your parental trauma should not affect your child.
Margeret’s group of friends was also spot on. Their boy books were great, something we used to do was have a codeword for each boy, normally a food or something like that so that we could talk about who we liked without anyone else knowing who we’re talking about. The other thing that struck me about this group of friends was it seemed like all the girls were on an even playing field and feeling the same things….except Nancy. She was a little more developed than the other girls and at that age makes you think that you are in charge and have some kind of authority or influence over those around you. I experienced it too, the first girls with A cups are always the bullies. Nancy also lied about getting her period just because she didn’t want to be the last of the group to get it. Now obviously I'm not gonna fault a 12 year old for being mean because she’s insecure, but everything seems so devastating when you are going through puberty. Hormones make it feel like the world is ending at every turn. Everything that goes wrong feels like you’ll never recover. I think this movie portrayed that perfectly.
I think the movie was a perfect representation of that point in life as well as a brilliant adaptation. This film will join the short list of films that center around girls becoming women and the genuine feelings that surround that, Booksmart, Eighth Grade and Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret. Overall I will say the film is a 9/10 (again only because I am trying to be harsher with my movie ratings). It was funny, real and it made me feel things. Highly recommend.
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