Ramona and Beezus Movie Review

Ramona and Beezus Movie Review


This new box office movie doesn’t have much to recommend it. In fact, Ramona and Beezus falls short of having much entertainment value. That’s too bad. Beverly Cleary’s cheery and clever stories of a little girl with a big imagination have been beloved by children everywhere for years. It’s surprising that this film lacks the imagination of Cleary’s classic series. It is also surprising that this upcoming movie is a Fox release as it has all the hallmarks of a Disney TV movie.

The premise of the movie is that Beezus, played by Joey King, a pint-sized newcomer to the golden screen, and the mischievous younger sister of Ramona, played by Selena Gomez, decides that she wants to stay in her home, even though their father, played by John Corbett, has lost his job and must move. King and Gomez are both good, delivering easy performances. But almost everything else about the new Ramona movie is dull.

The only thing that might save Ramona and Beezus is that Selena Gomez has a following from her work with Disney. She may be able to singlehandedly pull some movie ratings and reviews out of the pits. There are lots of younger audience members that might follow her from the small screen to the big screen.

The script by Laurie Craig (“Ella Enchanted”) and Nick Pustay has nine year old Ramona trying all sorts of ways to make money just to keep the family in their hometown of Portland, Oregon. As in the Cleary’s book, Ramona is usually falling over her own two feet and embarrassing her sister Beezus and Aunt Bea, played by Ginnifer Goodwin.

Elizabeth Allen is the director of Ramona and Beezus but doesn’t bring the edge to it that she brought to “Aquamarine” a few years ago.

There is some CGI animation interjected into the movie, meant to illustrate Ramona’s daydreams, and even that lacks sizzle.

Other members of the movies cast include adults Bridget Moynahan, Josh Duhamel and Sandra OH. They all are pleasant in their roles but that’s about it.

The producers of Ramona and Beezus are Denise Di Novi and Alison Greenspan.

The movie was filmed in Vancouver by cinematographer John Baily, who does an equally “pleasant” job.

The music by Mark Mothersbaugh is a little bit too bright for this ho-hum movie and it would have been nice if he had given it an occasional break from its somewhat forced cheerfulness.

Ramona and Beezus is rated G and runs for 104 minutes and opens July 23rd.

You never know, maybe your kids will like this film on the new movies list for what it is, sweet and gentle, just like the series after which it’s named.


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