Ramona and Beezus

Release Date: July 23, 2010

They're smiling now, but when the camera is off, it's a bitter battle.

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Position Staff In Brief
38/123 David Mumpower Never having been a young girl (no matter what you've heard), I didn't find it all that relatable. I was charmed by Selena Gomez, though.
103/190 Max Braden Maybe this is fun for a younger crowd, but it was just so-so for me.

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When I was a young girl, I was a big reader. Encouraged by bookish parents, I could always be seen with my nose in a book. I would often stay up way past my bedtime reading books I just couldn't put down. They've always been a big part of my life.

In my elementary school years, one of the most important authors in my emerging enjoyment of books was Beverly Cleary. From Henry Huggins to The Mouse and the Motorcycle to the many stories of Ramona Quimby (including Beezus and Ramona, Ramona the Pest, Ramona the Brave, Ramona and Her Father, and more), Cleary understood how to tap into the imaginations of kids.

Beezus is the big sister in the books. Her real name is Beatrice, but because Ramona couldn't say her name while she was learning to talk, Beezus wound up with a nickname that stuck. Ramona is constantly embarrassing her and getting her into awkward situations, too. They do a lot of things that you might expect from sisters (I have three of them and can vouch for the authenticity of the stories). It's all very relatable and healthy, clean fun.

It was really only natural that the story of these two sisters would eventually be adapted to film. Honestly, I'm a little surprised it didn't happen sooner (there was a Canadian television series, but that's all). Anchoring the film is Selena Gomez as Beezus, which is a huge boon for the prospects of the movie, since she's a big Disney Channel star. She's the key star of The Wizards of Waverly Place, a hot property for the Mouse House.

Previous book adaptations targeted at girls have had middling results, including Nancy Drew and An American Girl. This time around, good marketing may help get the Disney Channel audience into theaters. Still, with Walden Media being the studio behind the adaptation, there is cause for concern about the prospects for Ramona and Beezus. Their kid book adaptation record has been up and down. The good? Holes, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Charlotte's Web, Bridge to Terabithia, and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Their less successful stuff, though, includes such names as Hoot, How to Eat Fried Worms, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising and City of Ember. Really, Ramona and Beezus could go either way. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Ramona and Beezus
Main Cast Selena Gomez, Joey King
Supporting Cast John Corbett, Bridget Moynahan, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Duhamel, Sandra Oh
Director Elizabeth Allen
Screenwriter Laurie Craig, Nick Pustay
Distributor 20th Century Fox
Official Site http://www.ramonaandbeezus.com/
Rating G
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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