Movie Review: Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret

This is one of the few times in the life of this movie blog where I can definitely say, a new star has been born. The star of the new movie “Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret” who plays the title role of Margaret is Abby Ryder Fortson, a 15-year-old actress who is so good, that there are no signs anywhere within these 2 hours where it looks like she is acting. This young woman is a natural, not only destined to be a new standout in future films but should be nominated and win, a best actress Oscar for this role.

This film is based on the Judy Blume book of the same name, published in 1970. Most impressive about this story is that it is entirely about mundane real life, normal events, including moving from New York City to New Jersey, adjusting to a new school, making new friends as a 15-year-old teenage girl, peer pressure and worries among several teenage girls about getting their first period. Within this story, getting your first period mutates into a contest, born from a desperate need to feel normal and wanting so badly to be like everybody else.

The central character in this outstanding film is Margaret a 15-year-old girl, played perfectly by Abby Ryder Fortson. Her mother Barbara, is played expertly by Rachel McAdams, in one of her best roles in years. Margaret has a very close connection with her grandmother Sylvia, played by Cathy Bates and their relationship is one of the highlights of this movie. This story is also about Margaret talking to God while trying to decide on her chosen religion because her mother is Catholic and her father is Jewish. This choice of religion reaches an important high point towards the end of the film where Margaret’s grandparents meet during a family dinner.

Several other substories include PTA meetings and other run of the mill, normal situations, that at times seem to defy the normal pattern of most movies – where something crazy, or off the wall has to happen only to make the story unique and different. We have forgotten that normal and mundane can be good, funny and entertaining. There is nothing crazy in this story, this film is all about solid story telling and nothing more, making it unique entirely because it was all performed so well.

The Rotten Tomatoes rating for this film is a very high 99%, with my rating at 100% and my highest recommendation.

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