Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - movie review

Published By Alexandra Heilbron on Apr 28, 2023

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is based on the bestselling book by Judy Blume that almost every girl has read at least once in her life. The movie, set in 1970, the same year the novel was published, remains true to the printed word.

Margaret returns from summer camp to the family apartment in New York City, only to find that her parents have decided to move to a house in New Jersey. Unhappy about leaving the only home she’s ever known, her school, her grandmother (Kathy Bates) and her friends, Margaret is naturally upset, but she’s also just a nice kid who realizes her parents (Rachel McAdams and Bennie Safdie) only want the best for her.

Actor W.C. Fields once said, “Never work with children or animals,” presumably because they steal focus away from adult actors. Kathy Bates has nothing to fear from sharing the screen with children. She's hilarious as the Jewish grandmother, stealing scenes even when she doesn’t have a line, with just a facial expression or a shrug. No kid is stealing a scene away from her.

In New Jersey, Margaret meets the vivacious Nancy (Elle Graham), who as it turns out, is in her class at school. Nancy welcomes Margaret into her club, bringing their total to four girls. This helps Margaret navigate through school, even if the requirements of the club are sometimes ridiculous – no wearing socks with shoes, and getting a bra even when you don’t need one.

This movie gives women fond memories of the silliness they went through as young girls, while at the same time, makes Margaret very relatable to today’s girls. The preview I attended had a mixture of both in the audience, and it was clear that the girls were huge fans of the book, shouting out all the trivia answers asked by the host of the screening.

Abby Ryder Fortson, who played Cassie in the earlier Ant-Man movies, is perfectly cast as Margaret and easily captures the attitude of girls growing up in the 1970s. Although Margaret goes through a lot in this film, she's never bratty. She shows respect to her parents and elders -- even when she isn’t sure she likes them -- and her reactions to her character's dilemmas had the audience laughing out loud. Rachel McAdams as her mother -- a woman who likes to please everyone -- showed warmth and a depth of emotion that not all parents share with their children. Her relationship with Margaret reveals why she has such a wonderful, loving daughter.

Another standout is Elle Graham as Nancy. Previous seen as a girl from the 1960s on the Disney+ series Secrets of Sulphur Springs, she has the same mischievous, devil-may-care personality, but ramped up several notches in this film. Her energy and presence prove her to be an actor to watch for.

All in all, this is a faithful adaptation of Judy Blume’s book and the movie is perfectly put together. We love Margaret from the moment we see her at summer camp and sympathize with her as she experiences doubts about growing up -- and her first crush.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret debuts in theaters Friday, April 28, 2023. ~Alexandra Heilbron

5 out of 5 stars

If you’ve seen Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret  and would like to rate it/write a review yourself, click here.
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Comments & Discussion

  1. Jade • 4/30/2023 7:49:28 PM

    Such a great movie!

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