are you there god It’s Me, Margaret movie review: a cleverly crafted historical article on how to get your period
It is outrageous that the 1970 book behind this coming-of-age comedy was banned in certain UK schools until the late 1980s. Author Judy Blume’s story follows Margaret Simon, a teenage girl who can’t wait to get her first period and has doubts about organized religion (though she’s always hopeful).
All these years later we get to watch a nice little film that, while staying true to Bloom’s book, probably won’t stink. We’ve come a long way baby Let’s hope this dark age never returns.
Kelly Fremon Craig’s sequel to The Edge of Seventeen is definitely aimed at those who have devoured the book as they morph into their teenage selves. mothers and daughters. grandmothers and granddaughters. Theaters will be packed with people who know the bittersweet dialogue by heart.
Abby Ryder Fortson is perfect as Margaret. Believably vulnerable, exuberant, and (occasionally) battered, she doesn’t make a single cute or slick move. Kathy Bates is just as cuddly as Margaret’s sassy Jewish New York grandma, Sylvia, who is mildly (and I mean totally) clingy and has a connection when Margaret and her parents move to New Jersey.
Bates has mastered the funniest lines, which of course she recited with enthusiasm. During a sleepover at Sylvia’s apartment, Sylvia tells Margaret that if she hears snoring or farting, she says, “It’s not me. You’re dreaming!”
As Margaret’s parents, Barbara and Herb, Rachel McAdams and Benny Safdie shine whenever the topic of religion comes up. Quirky and artistic, Barbara was raised in the Midwest by Christian fundamentalists, who disowned her when she married Herb.
The couple have no interest in the faith but want to keep the peace, and things get really tricky when Barbara’s parents show up and, unlike in the book, Sylvia storms the party (overly aware of the anti-Semitism in the air). , Sylvia refuses to play nice). Young moviegoers are not usually exposed to such culture wars. It’s pretty raw stuff and McAdams and Safdie handle it beautifully.
Elsewhere, the fact that Blume was such an influential figure poses problems. The 85-year-old author paved the way for TV shows like Gilmore Girls, Never Have I Ever and even Euphoria (flat-chested Lexi Howard is such a modern-day Margaret).
I would argue that the arguments between Margaret and her cheeky, lying neighbor Nancy (Elle Graham, particularly fantastic in a toilet scene) also inspired Mean Girls. The fact of the matter is that by now we’re used to non-Cinderella-esque protagonists with down-to-earth mothers and bitchy but human sidekicks. Sometimes what’s happening on screen feels way too familiar.
And while it’s great to see the cast of color blind people – another change from the book where Margaret’s friend Janie, her schoolmate Freddy and her teacher Mr Benedict (Amari Alexis Price, JeCobi Swain and Echo Kellum) are all black – may well lead to this decision. This does not have a positive effect on the film’s portrayal of 1970s America. With the best of intentions, Craig makes the East Coast suburbs look more idyllic and inclusive than they actually were.
However, how can you resist a narrative that places so much emphasis on retro production details? A strikingly groovy sliding door made of some sort of plywood adds to the hilarity of the sequence in which Margaret receives her first kiss, while every inch of the sterile, linear temple where Margaret hopes to experience a religious revelation screams, “Margaret, you’re on yourself on your own.”
This is a historical drama by default. In other words, it’s a drama about the joy of getting your period and a trip down memory lane at the same time. It’s cozy but not too cozy. Take the opportunity to meet Margaret, an incredibly impatient heroine in a film that rewards you for going with the flow.
In cinemas from May 19th
106 minutes, certificate PG
https://www.standard.co.uk/culture/film/are-you-there-god-its-me-margaret-movie-review-rachel-mcadams-judy-blume-b1075598.html are you there god It’s Me, Margaret movie review: a cleverly crafted historical article on how to get your period