Ramona and Beezus really took me back to my kid years. Growing up in the 80s and 90s (during halves of those decades, that is), I remember reading the Beverly Cleary-penned series. Of course, as a boy, some thought different of me since those books were mostly leaned toward girls. But my older sister had plenty to lend me as well as the school library. And they did help me enjoy great tales of the fictional child pest and her older sister.
Watching this movie didn't help me recall very much with the books although its subplots did borrow a lot from the books. Examples include Ramona saying 'guts' as a bad word, among many others. The characters are just like how they are in the books, although I couldn't picture Aunt Bea (Ginnifer Goodwin) as an attractive woman! She's single, and she eventually falls in love with Ramona's best friend Howie's uncle, Hobart, who she once dated back in the day. Many adventures take place throughout the movie, but mostly focusing on the Quimby's man of the house, who gets laid off and may have to move his family. It's definitely the simple subplots that deal with love and youth that piece this movie together. I could go on...
Played by this generation's fine actors, Goodwin, Selena Gomez, Jeff Corbett, etc., I'd say this movie was good. Of course, it's mostly leaned towards tweens and kids who enjoy these kind of cute stories. It also lets kids know its okay to be a kid and dream. Ramona is shown as not just 'the pestery kid', but the one with the creative, wild imagination. Which is too much for Beezus to handle. While this didn't get much attention and hype as the books did, it is encouraged that parents and schools should keep this in their libraries.
I don't know if kids and tweens today read Beverly Cleary (who turned 98 two days ago!) books. It goes without saying, Cleary is a true literary icon among the children's genre. No matter what gender you are, you should definitely check this movie out. I don't know if a sequel will be in the works, especially if Selena Gomez is becoming a bigger star by the day. I'm sure they can get away with a 'same character, different actor' theme, but who knows. It is also set in present day, so its good to know that it is a true update of the 'Ramona' series.
My rating: 7 out of 10